Education Just For You - Dental Providers

Cavities start early. 

Recommend a dental visit by age 1.

The entire dental team – dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants, and office administrators – all play a role in the oral health of Iowans. It is important that children begin to receive dental care as soon as teeth erupt, making their first dental visit before their first birthday. Access to preventive care, like fluoride varnish, dental sealants, and optimal fluoridated water, is another way we can keep children healthy and decrease health care costs. Starting life with good oral health will translate into a lifetime of good oral health and healthy habits.

What can I-Smile do for dental providers?

The goal of I-Smile is to ensure that children have a dental home. Local I-Smile coordinators are liaisons between families, dental offices, medical offices, schools, Head Start, child care centers, businesses, and civic organizations to build systems that help children access dental care.

I-Smile coordinators work with families, especially those that may have the most difficulty accessing care, to address barriers they may have and to help them understand the importance of regular dental care. Coordinators and their co-workers help schedule appointments, find transportation, provide interpreters, and identify payment sources for dental care.   

I-Smile coordinators can also provide training for dental providers, demonstrating ways to provide exams and fluoride applications for young children. They can answer questions about Iowa’s school dental screening requirement or the dental component of hawk-i insurance. Your local I-Smile coordinator will even let you know about local community water fluoridation concerns.

How can dental providers help?

Get to know your local I-Smile coordinator! You and your I-Smile coordinator can identify the best ways to refer families to your office as well as other ways that you can work together to keep Iowans healthy.


 School Screening Information


Fact Sheets

Community Water Fluoridation

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends all community water systems provide a fluoride level of 0.7 mg/L to prevent tooth decay. Even with the availability of other fluoride-containing products, water fluoridation safely prevents 25% of tooth decay in both children and adults.

More information on water fluoridation for you and your patients can be found here.

Do you know the fluoride level in your community?

For the most current information about fluoride levels in your community, contact your local community water operator or check out the My Water’s Fluoride website.

Additional Fluoridation Resources

The following resources, created by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Campaign for Dental Health, provide additional information about water fluoridation for both you and your patients:

Did You Know?

The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics both recommend that a child should have his first dental visit by his first birthday.