Oral & Dental

“Year of the Smile” Resources

Quick Facts:

  • Cavities and tooth decay are preventable yet dental disease is the leading chronic disease of children.  Nearly 40% of Colorado kids have decay by the time they reach Kindergarten (source: Cavity Free at Three).
  • Babies are born without the bacteria that causes caries—the disease that leads to cavities. They get it from spit that is passed from their caregiver’s mouth to their own.
  • When caregivers share a spoon, cup or water bottle with a baby or young child (or lick a pacifier to clean it), they are passing on bacteria that can lead to tooth decay (source: ADA).
  • Babies should go to the dentist when the first tooth comes in or by their 1st birthday (source: ADA).
  • In 2012 only 9.3% of children were visiting the dentist by age 1 as per the recommendations of the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Videos, Websites & Resources about Oral Health:

Songs & Books about Oral Health:

Singing or playing will help your infant, toddler or preschooler associate fun with tooth brushing.

  • “Brush Your Teeth” (to the tune of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”)

Brush, brush, brush your teeth

Keep them nice and white.

Brush, brush, brush your teeth

Every day and night.

Apps about Oral Health:

  • “My Teeth”:  Kids can brush along with a cartoon named Lisa!  This is a free app (additional app with more characters is available for $1.99)
  • “Colgate’s My Bright Smile”:  Games with an oral health focus.  This is a free app.

Quick Tips about Oral Health:

  • Soda, sweet drinks, candy and other sweets can cause cavities that hurt.
  • Snacks like cheese, yogurt, fruits and vegetables are better for your child’s teeth than chips, crackers or cereal.
  • Drink more water.
  • After your child eats sweets, crackers or juice, brush you child’s teeth or rinse with water.
  • Adults can spread the germs that cause cavities.  Do not put anything in your child’s mouth if it has been in your mouth.
  • Brush your teeth and your child’s teeth in the morning and right before bedtime with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Children need an adult’s help in brushing their teeth until they are eight years old.
  •  Children should see a dentist by their first birthday.
  • If your child has Medicaid or Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+), your child also has coverage for dental services.