5 Tips to Preventing Cavities in Childcare

Have you ever had a cavity? According to the CDC, more than 1 in 5 children aged 2 to 5 years has at least one cavity in their baby teeth. That’s a lot!

The Ideas & Solutions blog is intended to provide a forum for the discussion of child care and early education issues and ideas. We hope to provoke thoughtful discussions within the field and to help those outside the field gain a better understanding of priorities and concerns.

Tips for Preventing Cavities

Cavities are one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood, yet they are preventable!

Remind parents when their child is due for a dental visit

Children should begin going to the dentist as soon as their first tooth appears, or after their first birthday. It is recommended that kids see their dentist every six months. Just like we remind parents of routine immunizations coming due, we can also remind them to schedule that dentist visit!

Help parents find an affordable dentist

Health care access can be a big barrier. One way that you can help is by referring parents to the right resources! Parents can search for a children’s dentist in their area by visiting www.aapd.org or by checking with the child’s medical doctor or local health department.

Incorporate books and toys about oral health

Going to the dentist is a common fear for children. One way to address that fear is through play or reading! Incorporating books and toys into your program that demonstrate toothbrushing are fun ways to teach kids oral health skills.

Learn about oral health in child care

Your CCHC Nurse Consultant can connect you to a website called Go NAPSACC that has an oral health module for 2.5 KDHE clock hours. You can learn not only about the importance of oral health in child care, but also get practical resources for incorporating toothbrushing into your own program.

Help the children brush their teeth every day

Brushing teeth daily with children may seem like a small thing, but it can prevent big problems. You may have questions or concerns about how realistic introducing toothbrushing into your program’s routine may be. You may wonder about cleanliness, germ sharing, or disruptive child behavior.

As your Child Care Nurse Consultants, we are here to answer your questions and provide you with individualized guidance and resources to help support you. We can help you create a plan for starting this new routine, and help you write a policy so parents can see all the wonderful work you are doing to support their kiddo’s dental hygiene!

Reach Out To Your Child Care Health Consultant

Call 785-823-3343 or completing an inquiry online at: https://ks.childcareaware.org/cchc/ by clicking on “Schedule an Introductory Meeting”. Consultation services can be provided in English and Spanish.
  • Jessica Gable
    Child Care Nurse Consultant, Child Care Aware of Kansas

    Jessica works as a nurse consultant from her hometown of Derby. Before joining Child Care Aware of Kansas in 2022, she worked as a pediatric home health nurse. Jessica holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. In her free time, she enjoys being creative with self-portrait photography and trying out new recipes!