Oral health is important, and establishing healthy habits shouldn’t be limited to regular visits to the dentist—in fact, there are many things that can be done right from home to benefit kids and adults. After all, maintaining healthy teeth and smiles to last a lifetime starts with small habits.
TIPS FOR FAMILIES TO KEEP SMILES BRIGHT AT HOME
Help your kids develop the skills they need to keep their teeth healthy now and for many years to come.
- Protect your kid’s teeth from cavities. Always brush with fluoride toothpaste.
- Children under 3 should only use a tiny amount of toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice. Those under 8 need a pea-sized amount.
- Remember to brush twice a day to keep the germs away! In addition, floss once per day.
- Don’t brush off the dentist! Once babies get their first tooth, it’s time to schedule a dental visit. From there, schedule a dental visit every 6 months for your kids.
- Seeing a dentist at least every year is important for adults, too, even if you have dentures or no natural teeth.
- Going to the dentist is safe and recommended for everyone. If you haven’t gone in for a while, make your appointment soon.
MEDICAID AND DR. DYNASAUR REMINDERS
Have Medicaid, Green Mountain Care or Dr. Dynasaur?
- Adults are eligible for up to $1,000 a year in dental services. Learn More >>
- Pregnant women, just like children, have no dollar cap for dental services. Learn More >>
HELPFUL & FUN RESOURCES
Find the links to some fun websites, videos, and activities here!
Help your kids form a regular routine of brushing twice a day and work together toward a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums!
The whole family can dive into this fun and engaging dental health YouTube channel featuring an 802 Smiles dental hygienist.
Geena the Giraffe’s Tremendous Tooth Adventure
This 8-minute animated film from Oral-B North America helps kids learn about how to take good care of their teeth.
- Vermont 2-1-1: A free and confidential 24/7 service to find resources in your community). Dial 2-1-1 from a Vermont phone or visit vermont211.org
- Oral Health Tips (CDC): Get a refresher on some tips that all adults can use to keep their teeth healthy, straight from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
- Children’s Oral Health (CDC): This overview from the CDC lists what parents and guardians can do to help babies and kids when it comes to oral health. Tips for pregnant women are also included.
- What to Expect at your Dental Appointment (ADA): The ADA (American Dental Association) created this web page to give an overview of how visiting the dentist has changed since March 2020. But, as always, it’s safe and effective to go. Get an idea of what to expect from your next visit here.
- Mouth Healthy (ADA): The ADA’s Mouth Healthy program gives parents tips to keep the mouths of their babies and kids strong. The site includes tips on brushing, nutrition, visiting the dentist, and more.
- Drinks Destroy Teeth: The Unsweetened Truth: This list from the Indiana Dental Association shows how much sugar is in popular sodas, juices, and soft drinks.
- PBS NewsHour on SDF: This 8-minute video from PBS discusses the benefits of using Silver Diammine Fluoride (SDF) treatment for tooth decay -- especially in children -- compared to invasive drilling procedures.
The 802 Smiles Network was created to improve oral health for kids across the state of Vermont. Establishing and maintaining healthy dental habits at a young age can prevent negative health outcomes later in life.
We recognize the need for oral health education and access for young Vermonters, and the 802 Smiles Network works to both expand and connect dental health services in Vermont schools to help students and families begin their oral health journey at no cost. Our network consists of VT schools that offer a variety of free services to their students. By offering free, in-school dental services, schools help to foster long-lasting preventative oral health behaviors that can positively impact health outcomes.
When a school becomes a member of the 802 Smiles Network they can select to provide different levels of services to their students, from dental health education and onsite treatments—to transportation and restorative services, such as fillings. The different tiers are laid out in this infographic.
We welcome and encourage new schools to join our network and the effort to promote dental health in Vermont youth. For more information, visit 802 Smiles Network, email [email protected] or call (802) 863-7330.