Establishing Healthy Habits
Parents play an important role in establishing early health habits including oral health. These resource materials can help families learn about oral health for infants and young children. Make sure your children develop a habit of proper oral care practices that they can carry through adulthood. Guide them and teach them while they are still young.
Parents can make a positive impact on their family's oral health by simply following a few basic steps, including:
- Wiping out your child’s mouth before teeth arrive and then beginning brushing teeth two times a day.
- Flossing regularly.
- Taking your child to the dentist by age one and then continuing with regular visits. Print out the above birthday card for a fun way to document this milestone.
- Drinking water with fluoride. The above dual language flyer explains to parents the benefits of drinking fluoridated water.
- Asking your doctor or dentist about fluoride varnish. The above dual language flyer explains the importance of fluoride varnish as a tool to prevent tooth decay.
- Limiting sugary foods and drinks and offering food at regular times each day, rather than allowing children to snack all day long.
- Learning more about protecting your child's smile with the dual language brochure above.
This Parent Information Booklet contains information for parents that is developmentally appropriate and based on recommendations from the Bright Futures in Practice: Oral Health By P. Cassamassimo. The sheets are easy to understand and can help parents take an active role in establishing and maintaining good oral health for their child. General topics include taking care of teeth, selecting the right toothbrush and toothpaste, good nutrition, safety, and going to the dentist.
The Division of Oral Health (DOH) at the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has developed materials and trainings that can be used within early childhood settings including home visitation programs and Early Head Start/Head Start to reach parents and young children.
Through a pilot project funded by the DentaQuest Foundation at the Children’s Center at Carolina Health Centers, oral health was integrated and successfully implemented within several program models. By including preventive oral health training and resources, home visitors can help parents acquire the skills needed to address the oral health needs of their children. For more information regarding trainings and resources for Home Visitors, firstname.lastname@example.org.