Smiles for Life National Oral Health Curriculum: Module 1. The Relationship of Oral to Systemic Health
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This module is the first module in the Smiles for Life National Oral Health Curriculum. It addresses the nature, prevalence, and consequences of oral disease throughout the life cycle with a focus on correlations between oral and systemic health. Clinicians will learn their role in preventing oral disease, addressing frequently encountered oral problems, and promoting oral health among their patients.
Smiles for Life: A National Oral Health Curriculum is a product of the Group on Oral Health of The Society of Teachers of Family Medicine. Smiles for Life is the nation’s most comprehensive and widely used oral health curriculum designed for primary care clinicians. The 8 module course covers the relationship of oral to systemic health, child oral health, adult oral health, dental emergencies, oral health in pregnancy, fluoride varnish, and the oral examination.
The complete curriculum is web-based and is designed as an interactive educational tool for both individuals and groups from all aspects of the health care profession. It includes interactive online courses and clinical cases for individual and small group education, downloadable PowerPoint modules suitable for larger group presentations, instructional videos, and patient education materials. Free access to all materials is available at www.smilesforlifeoralhealth.org.
The Smiles for Life (SFL) Curriculum including Module 1 The Relationship of Oral to Systemic Health has been endorsed by:
- American Academy of Family Physicians
- American Academy of Pediatrics
- Society of Teachers of Family Medicine
- American Academy of Physician Assistants
- Physician Assistant Education Association
- Association of Faculties of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
- National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
- National Interprofessional Initiative on Oral Health
- American Association of Public Health Dentistry
- Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association
The SFL Curriculum has been downloaded from our website more than 140,000 times (www.smilesforlifeoralhealth.org) including:
- 58,000 courses
- 77,000 supplements
- 11,000 online courses completed
The SFL Curriculum is:
- The core oral health curriculum used in 30+ medical schools
- Utilized in most Family Medicine residency programs nationwide
- Core curriculum for National Interprofessional Initiative on Oral Health
The SFL curriculum was awarded the Society of Teachers in Family Medicine (STFM) Innovative Program Award honoring excellence in development of an educational program in 2007 and received Letters of Commendation from the American Dental Association and American Academy of Family Physicians’ (AAFP) Commission on Education in 2011.
Deutchman M, Douglass A, Clark M, Douglass J, et al. Smiles for Life National Oral Health Curriculum: module 1. The relationship of oral to systemic health. MedEdPORTAL Publications. 2012;8:9195. http://dx.doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9195
Contains time-sensitive information that will likely be inaccurate, obsolete, or irrelevant by June 17, 2015
Contains Information Suitable for Patient Education
- To discuss the prevalence and sequelae of oral disease.
- To recognize the interrelationships between oral and systemic disease.
- To highlight the role of the primary care clinician in promoting oral health.
- Oral Health, Oral-Systemic Connection, Building Oral Health Capacity (BOHC) Collection, Public Health Sciences, Population Health
Prior Scholarly Dissemination
Smiles for Life has been peer reviewed by each of our endorsing national organizations:
American Academy of Family Physicians
American Academy of Pediatrics
Society of Teachers of Family Medicine
American Academy of Physician Assistants
Physician Assistant Education Association
Association of Faculties of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
American Association of Public Health Dentistry
Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association
This information is made available under the Creative Commons license.
Silk H, Stille S, Baldor R, Joseph E. Implementation of STFM’s ‘Smiles for Life’ oral health curriculum in a medical school interclerkship. Fam Med 2009;41(7):248-252.
Douglass AB, Deutchman M, Douglass J, Gonsalves W, Maier R, Silk H, Stevens N, Tysinger J, Wrightson AS. Incorporation of a National Oral Health Curriculum Into Family Medicine Residency Programs. Fam Med 2009;41(3):159.
Deutchman M, Douglass JM, Douglass AB. Smiles for Life: A National Oral Health Curriculum. Dental Abstracts 2011;56(1):4-6. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.denabs.2010.10.049
Douglass AB and Maier R. Promoting Oral Health: The Family Physician’s Role. American Family Physician 2008;78(7):814-815.
Douglass AB, Gonsalves W, Maier R, Silk H, Stevens N, Tysinger J, Wrightson, AS. Smiles for Life: A National Oral Health Curriculum for Family Medicine. Family Medicine 2007;39(2):88-90.
Authors & Co-Authors
University of Colorado School of Medicine
University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine
Central Washington Family Medicine Residency Program
University of Massachusetts Medical School
A. Stevens Wrightson
University of Kentucky College of Medicine
Albany Medical Center
Medical University of South Carolina
Schools of Dentistry and Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Sponsorship or Funding Source
Development of the Smiles for Life curriculum was supported by unrestricted grants from the National Interprofessional Initiative on Oral Health (NIIOH), which in turn was funded by the Dentaquest Foundation, Washington Dental Service Foundation, and Connecticut Health Foundation.
This project is also sponsored in part by funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration/Maternal Child Health Bureau grant #U44MC20223.