Toddler Overweight and Tooth Decay Prevention (TOTS) to Tweens is a follow up study to The TOTS Study (Toddler Obesity and Tooth Decay Study), an early childhood obesity and oral caries prevention program in Northwest American Indian communities.
Overview of Study Partnership:
The Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board (NPAIHB) continues a partnership with six Northwest tribes in this study. The goal of this study is to survey and conduct dental exams with the original cohort of toddlers to test whether interventions delivered in the TOTS will influence the prevalence of oral caries in older children. Through qualitative approaches, the study will also assess current community, environmental and familial factors that can influence older health in children to understand any maintenance of preventive behaviors over the last ten years within the entire family.
The overall aim of the TOTS to Tweens study is to test whether interventions delivered by staff to toddler/community/caregivers 8 years earlier will influence the prevalence of caries in older AI children (“Tweens”). We also plan to assess current community, environmental, and familial factors that can influence the oral health of older children via qualitative and quantitative approaches.
This study is innovative in its focus on keeping children healthy from the very beginning as opposed to combating disease once it has occurred. It is also innovative because it focuses on the most vulnerable members of the community, infants and toddlers, using a multi-level approach of interventions. If successful, the intervention would have great significance for the many tribal communities facing these problems.
TOTS to Tweens currently serves six Northwest tribes.
The TOTS to Tweens Study is administered through the NW NARCH program and is based at the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board.