Health Services
Dental

Establish a Dental Home for your Child

  • Children with a dental home have healthier teeth throughout their life.
  • Quality dental care supports your child’s growth and learning.
  • Children with healthy teeth tend to do better in school and have higher self-esteem and more confident than children that do not.
  • Your child establishes good dental habits that will last a lifetime.
  • A healthy mouth is part of good overall health.

Choosing a Quality Dental Home for your Child

Begin by looking at dental office near your home.
Ask friends, family members, your child’s doctor and school personnel for recommendations
Research:

  • Dental offices in your area that accept your type of insurance or contact your local health department.
  • Programs that offer dental care to people lacking insurance, contacting your state or local dental society.
  • Dental offices that offer services based on a sliding scale fee.

Choose a dentist that is “child-friendly” and call or visit before making an appointment.
Build a relationship with your child’s dentist and their office staff.
Ask questions and be sure you understand all services being offered.

Mecklenburg County Health Department Dental Services

Important Things to Remember once you Choose your Child’s Dental Home

  • Ask about the fees and procedures and make sure you understand them. If this doesn’t work for you, shop around.
  • Be on time, dental offices are businesses if your child is late it affects the whole office.
  • Call 24 hours in advance to cancel if your child cannot make the appointment.
  • Choose a dental office that is close to your home or easy to get to, convenience counts.
  • Ask your child’s dentist lots of questions and be sure to schedule a cleaning every 6 months.

Dental Health Tips for Teachers and Parents

Taking Care of Our Teeth

  • Stress the important of brushing twice daily!  The best times to brush are every morning before school and every evening before bedtime.
  • Children should use only a “pea” sized amount of fluoride toothpaste, rinse with water and remind children not to swallow (toothpaste is not recommended for children under age 2).
  • Children need to be supervised while brushing until about the age of 8.  Be sure they are brushing all areas of the teeth:  the fronts, the backs, the sides and the tongue.
  • It is important to replace all toothbrushes after 3-4 months or right after recovering from a cold or other infection.

Healthy Snacking

  • Encourage/serve healthy snacks!  Healthy choices include: yogurt, popcorn, peanuts, cheese, crackers, vegetable sticks, and fresh fruits of any kind. 
  • Discourage soft drinks!  In place of soft drinks, serve water (fluoride in tap​ water is great for our teeth), milk and 100% fruit juices (be sure not to choose juices with sugar added and not to add extra sugar to drinks)!

Visiting the Dentist

  • It is important for each child to visit the dentist for a child check-up at least 1 time a year.
  • Discuss with children things they might see at the dental office to ease fears of visiting the dentists.  For example, talk about or show pictures of a dentist chair, an exam light as well as a hygienist mask, gloves, a disposable bib, and an x-ray machine.
* Reproduced with permission from the Partnership for Children's Dental Health