Oral Health

Things You Can Do

Find Dental Care

  • To find a dentist, call your local dental society or visit
  • To find a dentist for a child, call California Society of Pediatric Dentists.
  • For low-cost dental care, call Denti-Cal or Healthy Families.
  • Check with local clinics and dental schools for low-cost dental care for adults as well as children. Call Health Care.

Take Care of Your Baby’s Teeth

  • Starting at birth, clean your baby’s gums with water and a clean infant washcloth or gauze pad.
  • When your baby has a few teeth, start to use a small soft toothbrush to gently clean the teeth after each meal.
  • If your baby wants a bottle at bedtime, fill it with cool water or give him a clean pacifier. Don’t dip a pacifier in anything sweet like sugar or honey. Clean it by rinsing it with water, not by licking it.
  • Don’t put sugary drinks or juice in your baby’s bottle.
  • If your local water supply does not have fluoride, ask your baby’s doctor about the best way to get it.
  • Help your baby start learning to use a cup around 6 months of age.
  • Sipping all day on milk, juice or sweet drinks can cause tooth decay. If your baby is thirsty between meals, offer water. Don’t let your baby carry a bottle around all day.

While You Are Pregnant

  • You baby’s teeth begin to form early in pregnancy. Eating a healthy diet during pregnancy will help your baby have strong, healthy teeth. Take prenatal vitamins and make sure your diet includes plenty of milk, cheese, fruit and leafy green vegetables. Visit
  • During pregnancy, women may have gum and tooth problems. It is important to see your dentist during this time. Keep your teeth very clean. Brush with a fluoridated toothpaste and floss close to the gum line.