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

Cavities

Causes:

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

Cavities are preventable!

Effects:

  • 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
moderate
severe

source: American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Oral Health Initiatives

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

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

Photo: Courtesy of Alberta Health Services

Resources – Dental assistance programs

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 October 2022.