National Center on Health, Behavioral Health, and Safety
Resources to Make You Smile!
This monthly newsletter provides Head Start staff with materials to promote good oral health in the classroom and at home. It also includes a recipe for a healthy snack that children can make in a Head Start classroom or at home with their families.
- To subscribe, visit the Early Childhood Learnig and Knowledge Center. Once on the page, enter your e-mail address and then select Oral Health. You will also be able to subscribe to other e-mail lists to receive periodic news about the Head Start program and early childhood development community.
Understanding the Role of Dental Hygienist Liaisons
Dental hygienists play an important role in promoting oral health and preventing oral disease. That’s why the National Center on Health, Behavioral Health, and Safety partners with the American Dental Hygienists’ Association to support the Dental Hygienist Liaison (DHL) Project. Under this project, one dental hygienist from each state, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands volunteers to help promote oral health for children and expectant parents enrolled in Head Start programs. (March 2023)
National Children’s Dental Health Month | Mes Nacional de la Salud Dental Infantil
February is National Children’s Dental Health Month and a great time to promote good oral health practices in Head Start programs. Head Start staff can share the following messages during February and throughout the year to raise children’s and parents’ awareness about what they can do to keep their mouths healthy. Developing good oral health habits at an early age and visiting the dentist regularly help children get a great start for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. It’s always important for parents to take care of their child’s and their own oral health to prevent oral disease. (February 2023)
Toothbrushing in Head Start Programs | Cepillado de dientes en los programas Head Start
Toothbrushing with fluoride toothpaste is key to maintaining good oral health and preventing tooth decay. Head Start programs must promote good oral health by ensuring that staff help all children brush their teeth with fluoride toothpaste once daily. (January 2023)
Involving Parents in Their Child’s Oral Health | La participación de los padres en la salud oral de sus hijos
Parents' involvement in their child's oral health is key to the child's overall health and well-being. Parents who introduce, reinforce, and model good oral health behaviors and attitudes pass them on to their children. Parents can do this by brushing their child's teeth with fluoride toothpaste every morning and before bedtime and by giving their child healthy foods that are good for the teeth.
How Smoking Affects Oral Health | De qué forma el tabaquismo afecta la salud oral
Smoking makes it more likely that a person will have tooth decay, gum disease, oral cancer, and poor birth outcomes. It can also cause stained teeth, bad breath, and reduced ability to taste and smell. Not smoking or quitting smoking is important for overall health, including oral health. When a smoker quits, it improves their health and quality of life. It also improves the health and quality of life of those around them, especially young children.
Finding Oral Health Care | Buscar atención para la salud oral
To stay healthy, it’s important for children and pregnant people to get oral health care. For some, it’s hard to find. Learn how Head Start programs can help families overcome common barriers to finding care, such as cost, not being enrolled in or eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), difficulty finding a dental office or clinic, and lack of time.
Reducing Fear of Dental Visits | Reducir el miedo a las visitas dentales
It’s understandable that children sometimes get nervous about their first few dental visits. Going to the dental office or clinic is a new and unfamiliar experience for them. For young children who are not yet used to oral health care, having their teeth and mouths examined can feel intrusive. Teaching young children what to expect during their dental visit helps set up a positive experience.
Ensuring Children Are Up to Date on Oral Health Care | Cómo asegurarse de que los niños estén al día con la atención de la salud oral
The Head Start Program Performance Standards require programs to obtain a determination from an oral health professional on whether a child is up to date on oral health care. Oral exams conducted during the program year can identify problems that require timely and appropriate care.
Helping Children to Drink Water | Ayudar a los niños a beber agua
Drinking water every day is good for overall health. Drinking water helps prevent dehydration, improves energy level, and is important for good oral health. Learn strategies for helping children and their families choose healthy drink options to prevent or reduce tooth decay.
Child Maltreatment | Maltrato infantil
Head Start staff help to prevent child maltreatment by building on family strengths, supporting families under stress, and protecting children who are at risk. Oral injuries may be a sign of child maltreatment.
Anesthesia and Sedation for Oral Health | Anestesia y sedación para la salud oral
Anesthesia and sedation are important tools for dentists providing oral health care in situations where a child must remain still, have their pain controlled, or be calmed down. Families need to know what types of anesthesia are recommended for their child to make an informed decision about whether they should be used for their child.
Staff Wellness: Adult Oral Health | Bienestar del personal: salud oral en los adultos
A healthy mouth is important for adults’ overall health and well-being, just as it is for children’s. When adults have healthy mouths, they can speak clearly, eat food, look healthy, and feel good about themselves. Learn about common oral health problems that some adults face.
Tooth Decay and Sugar | Las caries dentales y el azúcar
Tooth decay happens when bacteria in our mouths use the sugar in foods and drinks to make acids that attack teeth. Children who regularly consume foods and drinks containing added or natural sugar are more likely to develop tooth decay than children who have them less often.
National Children’s Dental Health Month | Mes Nacional de la Salud Dental Infantil
February is National Children’s Dental Health Month and a great time to promote good oral health practices in Head Start programs. Learn about activities that can be done in the classroom and virtually with families to encourage healthy habits.
Follow Up on Needed Oral Health Care | Seguimiento de la atención de salud oral necesaria
Primary (baby) teeth play a key role in a child’s ability to eat healthy foods, speak clearly, and hold space open in the jaw for permanent teeth that are forming beneath them. Some parents believe that, because they will fall out, it is not necessary to treat tooth decay in primary teeth. It is critically important for Head Start staff to help parents understand the importance of treating tooth decay in primary teeth.
Oral Injury Prevention | Prevención de lesiones orales
Injuries to the face and mouth are common among young children, usually as a result of a fall. Learn what Head Start staff can do to prevent oral injuries from happening.
Fluoride Supplements | Suplementos de flúor
Learn why fluoride supplements are recommended for children ages 6 months to 16 years whose primary source of drinking water does not contain enough fluoride.
Stress and Oral Health | Estrés y salud oral
Too much stress can have a negative impact on the health of children and adults, including their oral health. Learn how to help manage stress and support social and emotional well-being.
Promoting Oral Health and School Readiness | Promover la salud oral y la preparación para la escuela
School readiness depends on positive physical, social and emotional, language, and cognitive development. Oral health impacts each of these areas and is a key aspect of a child’s school readiness.
Understanding How Fluoride Helps Prevent and Repair Tooth Decay | Comprendamos cómo el flúor ayuda a prevenir y curar las caries
Fluoride is an important tool for preventing tooth decay. For generations, many communities have added fluoride to their public water supply. It is also added to most toothpaste brands and can be applied in a dentist's office using varnish or gel.
Promoting Oral Health During Pregnancy | Cómo promover la salud oral durante el embarazo
Maintaining good oral health helps people stay healthy during pregnancy. It also helps to prevent oral disease in their baby after birth. Head Start staff play a key role in engaging parents in conversations about the importance of good oral health during pregnancy.
Choosing Healthy Drinks | Cómo escoger bebidas saludables
Parents can prevent and manage tooth decay by ensuring their children have regular dental visits and by taking good care of their child’s teeth. Head Start staff play a key role in helping parents understand the importance of regular dental visits, beginning with the age 1 dental visit.
Promoting Age 1 Dental Visits | La promoción de las consultas dentales a la edad de 1 año
Parents can prevent and manage tooth decay by ensuring their child has regular dental visits and by taking good care of their child’s teeth. Head Start staff play a key role in helping parents understand the importance of regular dental visits, beginning with the age 1 dental visit.
Focus on Primary (Baby) Teeth | Enfoque en los dientes de leche o primarios
Primary teeth are key to a child’s growth and development. Head Start staff play a vital role in helping parents understand the importance of primary teeth to good oral health and overall health and well-being.
Focus on Preventing Tooth Decay | Enfoque en la prevención de las caries
This inaugural issue features materials for Head Start staff to use in promoting oral health for pregnant people and children enrolled in Head Start programs, including children with disabilities.