From infancy into adulthood, there are always ways to improve and maintain your oral health. Each step of the way, you can trust CDA to provide you and your family with important and relevant information. From figuring out the best age for dental sealants to locating affordable dental care for seniors, CDA has you and your loved ones in mind.
This year, approximately 30,000 American will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer. Learn more about these diseases by visiting:
- Baby Teeth Matter and Kick the Can, available in both English and Spanish, are great resources for communicating the importance of maintaining good oral health, including avoiding sugary drinks and making healthy choices.
• Baby Teeth Matter: English version | Spanish version
• Kick the Can: English version | Spanish version
- The CDA's Dental Health Education Resource Guide is a fun and informative way for teachers to introduce children to the importance of good oral health. The guide is available in in preschool through second grade and third through fifth grade versions. Additional resources for educators are available through ADA's Smile Smarts! Oral Health Curriculum, which offers modular lesson plans for preschool through 8th grade.
- Kindergarten Oral Health Requirement: In 2006, California passed AB1433 requiring a dental check-up for every child entering public school for the first time. This is one way schools can ensure children are healthy and ready to learn - by identifying children with unmet dental needs and helping parents establish a dental home for their children. AB 1433 resources and reported data can be accessed here.
- Share The Care, a public-private partnership between the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, the San Diego County Dental Society, and the San Diego County Dental Health Coalition, has developed a variety of resources for educators and advocates to educate children on the importance of goods oral health.
- The National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center provides a broad range of resources to support health professionals, program administrators, educators, policymakers, researchers and others to improve oral health services for infants, children, adolescents, and families.
- First Smiles, a four-year, $7 million statewide initiative, was developed to address the silent epidemic of early childhood caries among children 5 years old and younger. First Smiles' Dental Health Begins at Birth downloadable brochures are available in 10 languages.
Dental Disease Prevention
- Dental sealants help protect teeth from cavities by placing a protective coating over the deep grooves in back teeth. Find out how your child can benefit from dental sealants.
Fluoride and Fluoridation
Help Finding Dental Care
Government Dental Benefit Programs
A description of California's government benefit programs is available here. It describes California's Medicaid program (called Medi-Cal), Child Health and Disability Prevention (CHDP), Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT), and California Children's Services (CSS). It also includes details regarding eligibility as well as external links to a variety of government websites and documents. To access the Medi-Cal program website directly, click here.
Resources for Parents of Children with Special Needs
A common issue for many young children with special needs is oral sensitivity, which can impact eating, nutrition, speech, toothbrushing, dental check-ups and oral health. Families may receive education from occupational therapists, dental health educators and other health professionals regarding this issue. In an effort to provide consistent messages to parents, a group of oral health specialists and occupational therapists met to develop parent messages to address oral sensitivity and improve oral health and feeding practices.
The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research provides practical oral health care assistance for people with special needs, including Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Down’s Syndrome and more.
Healthy Smiles for Autism was created by the National Museum of Dentistry to empower parents of children with autism spectrum disorder to establish a healthy oral hygiene routine and prepare their children for a visit to the dentist.
The Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN) is a network of hospitals, physicians, researchers, and families working together to develop the effective approaches to medical care for children and adolescents affected by autism. They have developed a downloadable Dental Professional’s toolkit.
The Anderson Center for Dental Care, located in San Diego and dedicated to taking care of the dental needs of pediatric patients, especially those with special healthcare needs, has developed handouts for parents of children with autism and with down syndrome.
Pregnancy and Oral Health
Pregnancy is a unique time in a woman's life that is characterized by complex bodily changes. These changes can negatively affect oral health during pregnancy. Pregnancy and early childhood are particularly important times to access oral health care because the consequences of poor oral health can have a lifelong impact. Improving your oral health during pregnancy prevents complications associated with dental diseases, may reduce preterm and low birth weight deliveries, and has the potential to prevent early childhood cavities in your infant.
Learn more about the effects of your oral health during pregnancy by visiting:
- "Smiles for Life" was developed by CDA to raise awareness of the importance of continued good oral health for older adults. The materials cover issues related to oral health and the daily oral care of the semi-dependent and independent older adult. This resource is available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Hmong, Russian, and Vietnamese.
- The American Dental Association's Mouth Healthy program provides information for "Adults Over 60" to maintain their oral health.