Learn about the benefits of oral care, and how it's an important part of good health.
Dental health is an important part of a child's overall health.
In our North Texas region, 88% of parents believe preventive dental care is important, but only 75% realize that dental health also affects our overall health. An important fact we'd like to draw attention to is that 10% of children are not getting all the dental care they need. At Cook Children's, we want to change that. We know that children with dental problems have poorer general health and we want to help them improve by sharing information from our experts and the community.
Tips from the experts
Sign-up to receive educational information and how you can keep your mouth and body healthy.
Parents and teachers
Look here for downloadable resources to encourage children to continue good oral health habits while at home! We've collected some great coloring sheets, educational pages, quick lessons and other tips which are all great for home learning.
Healthy food and drink:
Learn about your teeth!
Here are some posters about oral health that you can download and print.
Social media messages to help us share
Please feel free to use our messaging below, or create your own. To use our messaging, all you have to do is copy the messages we've provided below and insert the appropriate photo into whichever social media site you use. We do ask that you keep #healthymouthhealthybody in the message.
How to care for children's teeth
- Wipe your baby’s gums with a clean, wet cloth in the morning and bedtime.
- Only use water in the bottle/sippy cup at bedtime.
- Stop using bottles by age 1.
- Visit the dentist by age 1 or when first tooth comes in around 6 months.
- To avoid passing a bacteria that causes cavities, don’t share cups, straws, spoons, toothbrushes or lick pacifiers to clean them.
- Brush for at least 2 minutes, 2 times a day (morning and bedtime).
- Floss 1 time a day when teeth start touching. Help your child brush and floss their teeth until age 9.
- Eat and drink healthy. Limit sugary snacks and drinks, including juice.
How to find a dentist
If you're searching for a dentist, our family resource brochure is a quick and easy way to find low/no cost dental resources in Tarrant County and the surrounding areas.
- Family dental resources in Tarrant County.
- Recursos dentales para familias en el Condado de Tarrant.
Preparing for a dental visit
Some kids like going to the dentist, but others might be afraid of a visit to the dental office. If your child is worried or fearful, a little preparation before the visit can be especially helpful. Here are a few tips to help make the experience easier for your child and for you.
- Be positive about the dentist visit. Don't use the dentist as a threat to get your child to brush their teeth or eat healthy. Instead, reassure your child that the dentist just wants to keep their teeth as healthy as possible. It may help to plan a special activity for after the visit!
- Talk with your child about what may happen, using simple language. For example:
- "The people at the dentist's office might want to take x-ray pictures of your teeth so that they can see if they are healthy."
- "The dentist will look at your teeth, and a dental hygienist may come in to clean your teeth and teach us how to keep your teeth clean at home."
- Some dental offices will let you and your child come in for a “get to know you” visit before the actual appointment. This way you and your child can look around the office and meet some of the team. Ask your dental office if this is an option.
- Some children like reading a book or watching a video about visiting the dentist. And after the visit, your child might want to write or draw about their experience!
- If your child has a developmental condition such as autism, or other health problems that may make oral care and dental visits particularly challenging, be sure to let the dentist's office know when you make the appointment.
Download and print:
Dr. Sheela Patel helps you prepare for your child's first dental visit.
Learn how to prevent tooth decay in your baby by Dr. Nichols, a Cook Children’s pediatrician in Southlake, Texas.
Peyton Salavarria shares information on preventing cavities and germs.
Dr. Sheela Patel discusses healthy choices for a healthy mouth.
Links to other resources we've found useful:
- Print a poster to promote dental care
- Oral health coloring and activity sheets
- Sesame Street's oral health information
- Oral health books for kids
- Dental emergencies
- American Dental Association's resources for babies and kids
- American Dental Association's resources for pregnant women and oral health
- Keep Kids' Mouths Healthy
Some really fun information for you!
What are teeth? You need teeth to talk and eat properly. From baby teeth to permanent teeth, find out all about them in this movie.
What's spit? Pull a lollipop out of your mouth and you'll see it. Wake up after drooling on your pillow and you'll feel it. That's right, it's spit, also known as saliva (say: suh-LIE-vuh). Learn all about spit here.
What happens at the dentist? Brushing and flossing are important, but you also need to visit your dentist regularly to keep your teeth strong and healthy. Let's learn more about what happens at the dentist's office. Learn all about dentist office visits here.
Click here to get serious about your teeth! This website has some awesome information and cartoons to help you learn all about keeping your mouth health!
Dentists say that the most important part of tooth care happens at home. Brushing and flossing properly, along with regular dental checkups, can help prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
If you're like most people, you don't exactly look forward to facing a dentist's drill. So wouldn't it be better to prevent cavities before they begin?
A healthy mouth is important for pregnancy
Pregnancy is a time of change for a woman’s body and her mouth. Due to the hormone changes and eating habits during pregnancy, there is at a greater risk of getting gum disease and tooth decay.
Train the trainer
Train the Trainer is a free 4-hour workshop to give community professionals the skills and knowledge needed to talk about oral health to pregnant women and parents of young children birth to 8 years of age.
Classes and events
Providing our community and families the skills and knowledge needed to talk about oral health. We encourage you to sign up for one of our FREE upcoming events.
Children's Oral Health Coalition
Children's Oral Health Coalition (COHC) is dedicated to improving the oral health of children in Tarrant County and the surrounding areas through community collaboration. Our impact areas are: Awareness, Education, Prevention and Advocacy.
Save a Smile
Founded in 2003, Save a Smile is an innovative, nationally recognized, collaborative program. We provide thorough preventive and restorative dental care for children from low-income families with the help of volunteer dentists.
Oral Health Resources
Support for parents with children who have complicated needs.
Impact oral health
Join us as we share information on how to build oral health awareness.