Today tooth decay is largely preventable with regular brushing and visits to the dentist. This topic will help parents understand how to care for baby teeth and how to teach older children to care for their own teeth.
Note: This topic was prepared to help consumers find reliable health resources on the web. This site is not responsible for the information on other sites. The information here — and on all websites — is not intended to be a substitute for care by a health professional.
- American Dental Association
- The ADA provides information and instructions for parents as well as fun information for kids. Also includes curriculum material for teachers.
- Keeping Your Child's Teeth Healthy, KidsHealth
- This link answers questions about when to start caring for baby teeth, choosing a dentist, preventing cavities and more.
Baby's First Teeth
A child's first teeth, called primary teeth or "baby teeth," usually begin to appear when babies are between 6 months and 1 year of age. Caring for these teeth is as important as caring for permanent adult teeth, and experts recommend that you start before your child's first tooth appears.
- A Healthy Mouth for Your Baby
- This website, part of the National Institutes of Health, offers easy-to-understand instructions about caring for your baby's mouth and teeth. Información en Español.
Tips on Brushing
- Brush up on Healthy Teeth, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Tips on brushing/caring for your child's teeth.
Sealants are thin, plastic coatings painted on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. Sealants are painted on as a liquid and quickly harden to form a shield over the tooth.
- Seal Out Tooth Decay, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
- This page explains to parents and caregivers what sealants are and how they work. Información en Español.
- Dental Sealants, CDC
- Follow this link for information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- and many other public health organizations -- recommend adding fluoride to the community water supply to help prevent tooth decay. The Fort Collins area water supply is fluoridated. The information below will help you understand how fluoride in toothpaste and water work to prevent tooth decay.
- Community Water Fluoridation, CDC
- Fluoride information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Flossing helps remove food and plaque from between your child's teeth, where a toothbrush might not reach. Experts recommend flossing at least once a day.
- Flossing Recommended for Good Oral Health Care, ADA
- Information on flossing from the American Dental Association.
Choosing a Dentist for Your Child(ren)
The American Dental Association recommends children make their first visit to the dentist by his or her first birthday. Early visits help teach parents how to care for baby's teeth and get the child used to visiting the dentist. Some parents may prefer to take children to a pediatric dentist, while others prefer to take the whole family to a general or family dentist.
- Health District Dental Services
- The Health District of Northern Larimer County provides services through the Family Dental Clinic and referrals through Dental Connections. Follow this link for more information.
- Search This Site for a Dentist, HealthInfoSource.com
- Follow this link to search for a general or pediatric dentist on this site.