Healthy Teeth for Healthy Kids

A smile can say a lot about a child. It can tell us that a child is happy. It can also tell us whether that child is happy and healthy. Caring for your children's teeth and mouth while they are young is essential for their overall growth and development. Although tooth decay is preventable, it is still one of the most prevalent childhood diseases.

Based on a recent survey of over 20,000 California children, it is estimated that 50 percent of Kindergarteners have dental decay. Poor oral health not only causes pain and infection, it is also one of the most common reasons that children miss school. In addition, it can lead to:

  • Impaired speech development
  • An inability to concentrate
  • Lower self-esteem
  • Poor sleep

Part of the reason for this problem is a lack of access to preventive care and education. In fact, over half of the State's 2- to 5-year-olds has never received dental care. To address this issue, First 5 California launched its Early Childhood Oral Health Initiative in order to provide targeted, effective oral health programs designed to significantly reduce the frequency of this preventable childhood disease.

Tips for Parents & Caregivers