Client and Parent Information

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parent video w button  Please watch this short video for information on free, preventive dental services available through the Department of State Health Services’ Oral Health Program’s school-based dental clinics. It includes instruction on what you need to do to allow your child to participate. 

Make sure you and your children get regular dental checkups.

Pregnancy

Did you know that the health of your mouth can affect the health of your baby? It’s true. Having a healthy mouth during your pregnancy will help keep your baby healthy.

  • See your dentist for dental checkups while you are pregnant.
  • Eat healthy foods.
  • Brush and floss your teeth daily.

Baby’s First Months

Start taking care of your baby’s mouth early, even before there are any teeth. Within the first few months a baby can start getting germs in their mouth that can lead to tooth decay (cavities) when the teeth start coming in. Here are some tips to keep your baby’s mouth clean:

  • Hold your baby while feeding.
  • After your baby eats, wipe their gums with a clean, soft, damp cloth.

baby tooth

6 Months Old

Babies will get their first tooth around 6 months of age. Start good habits early. 

  • Help your baby learn to use a cup.
  • Take your baby for their first dental checkup at 6 months old.
  • Think of that dentist’s office as your baby’s dental home. It is best to go to the same dentist for all dental checkups.
  • Brush your baby's teeth every day using a soft toothbrush.
  • Use a clean, soft, damp cloth to clean the gums where there are no teeth.

1 to 2 Years Old

As more baby teeth come in, help your child take care of their teeth at home and with regular checkups.

  • Take your child to the dentist for checkups every 3 to 6 months.
  • Brush your child’s teeth every day using a soft toothbrush.
  • Use a clean, soft, damp cloth to clean the gums where there are no teeth.

toddler with bear

3 to 5 Years Old

The cleaning and care you start at this age will lead to good lifelong habits that help your child keep a healthy mouth.

  • Help your child brush their teeth 2 times a day.
  • Start teaching your child how to use a soft toothbrush to clean their teeth.
  • Take your child for dental checkups every 6 months.

teen

6 Years and Older

During this time, you will see changes in your child’s mouth. Adult teeth will start to take the place of baby teeth. Help your child keep up the good habits you’ve started. Regular cleaning and care will help to keep your child’s new adult teeth healthy.

  • Children need to brush their teeth at least 2 times a day.
  • Take your child to the dentist for checkups every 6 months.
  • Ask your dentist if your child should get sealants put on their molars (teeth in the back part of the mouth). Sealants help prevent tooth decay.

If you have Medicaid, and are 20 years old or younger, call Texas Health Steps toll-free, Monday through Friday, at 1-877-847-8377 (1-877-THSTEPS) for help finding a dentist or getting a dental checkup. If you do not have Medicaid, or if you are 21 years old or older, link to Low Cost Dental Services for resources. 

Other Resources: 

 

Last updated February 13, 2017