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 his 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, 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.   

Fact sheets


Iowa’s School Dental Screening Requirement

In Iowa, children must have a dental screening before enrolling in kindergarten and 9th 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 almost all water. 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 way to prevent cavities and improve the oral health of children and adults.

To find out if you have enough 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 to find out more about how fluoride works to prevent cavities.

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

For additional information:

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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And make sure you check out our Education Just For You – Kids page!

Did You Know?

Cavities are contagious! The germs that cause cavities can be passed from your mouth to your child’s mouth. Don’t share spoons, forks, or toothbrushes with your kids!