Strategies to Prevent Dental Caries

The Irish Oral Health Services Guideline Initiative have launched guidelines on identifying high caries risk children and developing preventive strategies for high caries risk children in Ireland.

The full guideline and summary guideline are available on the OHSRC website.


Caries Guideline LaunchPatricia Gilsenan-O'Neill, Dental Health Foundation, Brenda Golden, Public Health Nursing HSE South and member of the guideline development group & Teresa Maguire, Health Research BoardThe guideline has been developed for the public dental service in Ireland, which is the main provider of state-funded dental services to children under the age of 16. The guideline covers approaches to identifying "high caries risk" children and adolescents at both the individual and the population level, and addresses effective strategies to prevent caries at the individual and the population level in high caries risk children.

The aim of this guideline is to:

  • Encourage early identification of high caries risk children
  • Assist clinicians in making decisions on preventive strategies for individual high caries risk children and adolescents
  • Assist policy makers and those responsible for planning public dental services for children and adolescents in making decisions on the provision of caries prevention programmes for high caries risk children.

Who is this guideline for?

This guideline is of relevance to all clinical staff working in the public dental service, those responsible for the planning and management of public dental services, oral health promoters, the primary health care team (Public Health Nurses, GPs, practice nurses etc.), parents and children, teachers and other social, health and education services dealing with children. Although developed for the public dental service, this guideline will also be of interest to general dental practitioners and their dental teams.

How was this guideline developed?

This guideline was developed by a Guideline Development Group in line with international best practice. Details of the guideline development process can be found in Appendix 2 of the Summary Guideline document. The guideline will be updated in 2011.