31% of children have experienced dental decay by the
time they reach kindergarten. This rate increases for
children from low-income communities.
Cavity Free at Three
(CF3) is Colorado's statewide initiative to improve oral
health outcomes in expectant mothers, infants, and
toddlers. The interprofessional oral health promotion
program was established in 2007 and is led by the
Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).
Through its training opportunities, CF3 trains medical
and dental healthcare providers on how to talk to their
patients about cavity prevention. It works through
communities to increase preventive oral health services,
align oral health messaging, and improve oral health
Targeted communities are those with limited access to
dental care, including people in rural areas with low
socioeconomic status and oral health Medicaid utilization
rates. Eighty-seven percent of the program's target
counties are considered rural or frontier.
CF3 is funded through a Perinatal
and Infant Oral Health Quality Improvement
Initiative, funded in part by the Health Resources
and Services Administration (HRSA) and allocated to
CDPHE's Oral Health Unit.
The state oral health coalition, Oral Health
Colorado, provided state lawmakers with compelling
data and research to inform their 2018 legislative
session. As a result, a long bill was passed,
appropriating $500,000 annual state funds to the Oral
Health Unit at CDPHE to continue CF3, among other oral
Other foundations that support the program include:
This video goes into more detail about the program: