Education Just for You – Parents

The health of your child’s mouth is important.

Not only does your child’s smile affect his self-esteem, but a healthy mouth is also critical for speaking clearly and eating food to help their body grow. Children who have pain from tooth decay (cavities), may also be distracted from learning. Parents can help children begin life with healthy habits – brushing teeth twice a day, using toothpaste with fluoride, limiting sugary food and drinks, and making regular dental visits a priority as soon as teeth begin to erupt.

I-Smile can help you! I-Smile coordinators, who are local dental hygienists, can link you and your family to dental care. I-Smile also offers preventive dental care and oral health education at WIC clinics, schools, and community events. Click on the Find My I-Smile Coordinator tab above to find your local coordinator.   

Iowa’s School Dental Screening Requirement

In Iowa, children must have a dental screening before enrolling in kindergarten and ninth grade. Having a healthy, pain-free mouth helps kids learn, grow, and thrive!

You can get more information about Iowa’s school dental screening requirement, on the Iowa Department of Public Health’s website.

Fluoride in Water

Fluoride is found naturally in all water sources. Many Iowa water systems adjust the fluoride in drinking water to an amount that is best for preventing cavities (tooth decay). Drinking tap water with fluoride is a safe and easy way to prevent cavities and improve the oral health of children and adults.

To find out the level of fluoride in your water, contact your local water operator or visit the "My Water’s Fluoride" webpage, for more information.  

Click on the following links below to find out more about how fluoride works to prevent cavities.

Learn more about the safety of water fluoridation.  (Also available in Spanish)

Other Resources

How to Explain Oral Hygiene to Three-Year-Old Kids

Click the image below to test your tooth smarts!  

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Make sure to check out the Education Just For You – Kids page!

Did You Know?

A child’s first dental visit should occur right after the first tooth comes in, or before their 1st birthday.