Oral Health and Resources for 0-6

Information on this page can be downloaded as a handout.

Healthy Mouth, Healthy Child

Physical : nutrition & speech, pain & infection, growth and development

Mental : concentration, missed school, ability to learn, restricted activity days

Emotional: self-esteem, poor behaviour, social relations, tiredness, anxiety

Spiritual: the healthy of any element affects the health of others



  1. Bacteria (Strep Mutans)
  2. Sugars
  3. Lack of home care

Cavities are preventable!


  • Cavities can start as soon as there are teeth in the mouth
  • Affect eating, sleeping, learning
  • Cause infection in the mouth & cause tooth loss

How cavities are made

Early childhood cavities

early: less strong
early cavities

How To Prevent Cavities

  1. have teeth cleaning & flossing routines
  2. follow the toothpaste use guidelines
  3. have good eating & drinking habits
  4. get help from dental professionals

Have teeth cleaning routines

  • clean baby’s mouth daily
  • help brush teeth when teeth come in
  • help brush teeth twice a day until child is 8
  • help floss once a day
  • do not share spoons and toothbrushes
  • lift the lip once a month to check for cavities
  • Use soft brush with rounded bristles
  • clean every surface of every tooth
  • be a good role model

Brush at least 2 times a day

Floss at least 1 time a day

Follow the toothpaste use guidelines

  • to reduce/prevent tooth decay
  • 1 rice-size : 1st tooth – 3 years
  • 1 pea-size : 3 years and up
  • to spit and not to swallow
  • caregivers apply toothpaste to the brush
  • no fluoridated mouth rinses: under 6 years of age

Have good eating and drinking habits

  • never put baby in bed with a bottle
  • wean baby from bottle feeding (12-14 months)
  • don’t put juice / sweetened liquid in the bottle / sippy cup
  • practice drinking from a small open cup (6 months)
  • avoid constant sipping from a bottle or no-spill cups
  • choose healthy foods and drinks
  • choose water for thirst between meals
  • be a good role model

Get help from dental professionals

  • get dentist to check your 1 year old
  • ask questions, get advice
  • get dentist to check your own teeth and mouth

Fluoride Varnish

Resources – Dental assistance programs

Alberta Child Health Benefit

Health benefit that is provided to low income families to help with eye glasses, prescription medications and dental care for their kids.

Alberta Adult Health Benefit

Health benefit that is provided to eligible low income families to help with eye glasses, prescription medications and dental care for the whole family.

Alberta Health Services Fluoride Application Program

Provides free fluoride applications for eligible children 12 to 35 months to protect their teeth from cavities.
Children only need to have a few teeth to start getting fluoride. Applications are given 4 times, once every 6 months. For eligibility information visit the website.

Alberta Health Services Reduced – Fee Dental Care Program (Calgary only)

Alberta Health Services public health program that families can pay reduced fee for dental services received. Eligible families can submit application and then make appointments at either of the two clinic locations in Calgary.
More information can be found here.

Canada Dental Benefit

It is the dental benefit Government of Canada is offering for children under the age of 12. Details of what are the benefits, who are eligible, and how to apply can be found here.

Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP)

The Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP) is from the Government of Canada, helping accessing oral health care for Canadian residents with an annual family net income of less than $90,000 who do not have any other dental insurance. Please visit the Government of Canada’s website to find out more.

For any questions regarding oral health information/resources, please call Health Link Alberta at 811. 24/7, free and interpretation available in 240+ languages.

Information on this page can be downloaded as a handout. If you have any questions, please contact us.

Disclaimer: This material is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified health professional. This material is intended for general information only and is provided on an “as is”, “where is” basis. Although reasonable efforts were made to confirm the accuracy of the information, Alberta Health Services does not make any representation or warranty, express, implied or statutory, as to the accuracy, reliability, completeness, applicability or fitness for a particular purpose of such information. Alberta Health Services expressly disclaims all liability for the use of these materials, and for any claims, actions, demands or suits arising from such use.  Last updated January 2024.