292. Culinary Dentistry: Incorporating Nutrition into Dental Education and School-Based Interventions

Monday, October 28
1:30 PM – 3:00 PM
Location: 119-AB
CE: 1.5
Level 2 – Intermediate
Activity Code: 149529

Good nutrition is necessary for optimal oral health, but the RDN and nutrition education is not widely incorporated into dental education and public health programs. This session will highlight timely, collaborative programs targeting innovative nutrition education programs in the promotion of oral health. Participants will learn about a culinary dentistry program for Doctor of Dental Science students utilizing an integrated and interdisciplinary model of culinary arts, gardening, and simulation. The session will also describe CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) Healthy Smiles, a theory-based oral health promotion program targeting elementary-aged school children and their parents to increase behaviors, knowledge, and skills to build strong oral hygiene habits. This session will utilize a lecture, discussion, and culinary demonstration to demonstrate a synergistic and expanded role for the dietetics professional in oral health and nutrition education both at the provider and community level.

Learning Objectives:

  • Explain the advantages and synergy of structuring nutrition and oral health education within a collaborative and integrated model.
  • Describe the programs, as well as the preliminary process and outcome results, from the implementation of Culinary Dentistry and CATCH Healthy Smiles public health programs.
  • Outline the opportunities and challenges from implementing integrated nutrition and oral health education programs at the provider and community levels, including potential new job opportunities for RDNs.

Learning Need Codes:

  • 3050 Feeding, swallowing, dentition
  • 8060 Culinary skills and techniques
  • 4090 Health behaviors

Performance Indicator:

  • 8.3.6 Keeps abreast of current nutrition and dietetics knowledge and trends.
  • 8.4.3 Uses a variety of cooking techniques, food preparation and production and delivery systems.
  • 8.4.5 Uses counseling techniques to promote behavior changes in food preparation.


  • Deanna Hoelscher, PhD RDN, LD, CNS, FISBNPA

    John P McGovern Professorship in Health Promotion and Regional Dean

    UTHealth School of Public Health

  • Speaker(s)

  • John Wesley McWhorter, MS, RDN, LD, CSCS

    Director of Culinary Nutrition

    Nourish Program, UTHealth School of Public Health

  • Shreela Sharma, PhD, RDN, LD

    Associate Professor of Epidemiology

    UTHealth School of Public Health