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Resources for Improving Your Oral Health

Improving your oral health can have a significant impact on your overall health and well-being. These resources will inform you about evidence-based, best practices that you can implement at home.

  • Visit Your Dentist

    Infants should go to the dentist when their first tooth erupts or by their first birthday, whichever comes first. Then, for the rest of your life, go to the dentist twice a year to make sure your mouth, teeth, and gums are healthy. Click here to find a dentist near you.

  • Brush Your Teeth Two Times A Day

    Brush your teeth at least two times a day with fluoridated toothpaste to protect your teeth and clean out bacteria in your mouth that can cause tooth decay, commonly known as cavities.

  • Drink Fluoridated Water

    Avoid sugar sweetened beverages, which cause cavities, and instead drink water.  Drink fluoridated water, if possible, to help protect your teeth from bacteria.

Resources for Everyone

The CDPH created these resources that provide general tips, best practices, and steps you can take that address the following topics: Tips for a Healthy Smile (PDF)Dental Disease Prevention (PDF), Dental Decay Process (PDF),  and Dental Injury Prevention (PDF)

Other Organizations have developed resources that everyone can use:

Resources for Pregnant Women and Infants

Resources for Children

  • Healthy Habits for Happy Smiles (PDF): These handouts, prepared by the National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness, provide simple instructions and tips for parents on their children’s oral health, including specialized information for children with disabilities.  Topics include brushing your child’s teeth, choosing healthy drinks, finding a dental clinic, getting fluoride, preventing and giving first aid for oral injuries, choosing healthy snacks, and helping your baby with teething pain. Available for download in English (PDF) and Spanish (PDF).

  • A Healthy Smile for You and Your Younger Child: Tips to keep your child healthy. Available for download in English and Spanish.

  • 2Min2X: This website, hosted by the Ad Council and the Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives, has fun videos and resources to help your children brush their teeth for two minutes, twice a day. Available in English and Spanish.

  • Healthy Teeth, Healthy Me: Tips and tools from Sesame Street designed to help you and your child care for their teeth by following along with fun videos and activities. The website is available in English (PDF) and Spanish (PDF).

  • Children’s Oral Health: The American Academy of Pediatrics developed this website to promote behaviors children and families can adopt to achieve optimal oral health.

  • Child Health and Disability Prevention Publications: The California Department of Health Care Services, who manages the Child Health and Disability Prevention Program, has a variety of resources available for download in English, Armenian, Cambodian, Chinese, Farsi, Hmong, Korean, Lao, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

Resources for Adults

Resources for Fluoridation

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that is an effective way to prevent and protect teeth from tooth decay. Fluoride stops or can even reverse the tooth decay process, keeping tooth enamel strong and solid, for both children and adults. 

  • Fluoride Varnish – Helping Smiles Stay Strong (Text PDF): Fluoride varnish is a protective coating that is painted on the teeth to protect teeth against tooth decay. This brochure provides an overview of fluoride varnish and a parent checklist after fluoride varnish. The brochure is available in English (PDF), Spanish (PDF)

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:  Information on community water fluoridation.

  • I Like My Teeth: The Campaign for Dental Health provides information for health professionals, scientists, and the public on fluoridated water and community water fluoridation. Website is available in English and Spanish.

  • Fluoride Science: The Center for Fluoride Research Analysis evaluates fluoride science by offering topic summaries with abstracts and bibliographies, critical appraisals, critical review and analysis, and interviews with scientists.

If you are having difficulty accessing any of these documents, please contact CDPH at to request this information in an alternate format.

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