This Quarter’s Theme: Brush Up: Dental Care!

Tooth Talk Video Helps You Explain the Importance of Baby Teeth to Parents

Did you know tooth decay is THE most common chronic childhood disease?

Did you know brushing with fluoride toothpaste helps prevent it?

A recent WHO (World Health Organization) report found that tooth decay and obesity are the two most common diseases world-wide … and sugar is the culprit! Thanks for doing your part to preserve the health and well-being of kids.

Here are some tips from the short, helpful Tooth Talk video “Baby Those Baby Teeth” to pass on to parents:

  • Brush baby’s teeth. When the first teeth come in, usually between 6 and 10 months, brush with a small, soft-bristle baby toothbrush with a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste to make teeth strong and fight tooth decay.
  • Relieve teething pain. Don’t give babies teething biscuits; they contain sugar which can lead to tooth decay. Avoid numbing gel because it can numb the baby’s throat and cause choking. Instead, give the baby a cold teething ring or damp, cold washcloth to suck on.

For more information and tips about the importance of baby teeth from Tooth Talk, the website about improving children’s dental health for early childhood educators and childcare providers, click on the short video “Baby Those Baby Teeth.”

For more helpful videos featuring pointers about caring for toddlers’ teeth you can share with parents, click on the Videos tab at the top of the screen.


This Quarter’s Theme: Brush Up: Dental Care!

Tooth Talk Helps You Motivate Behavior Change in Parents By Changing How You Talk

“I think for us the biggest problem is parents don’t have a lot of time to communicate with us. And so what happens is only one side gets to say what they really need to say. It’s either us or the parents.” –LaToya Newsom, Durham Early Head Start, Durham, NC

“Good communication to me is when the teacher and I can get together on what’s best for the child.” –Alisha, a parent

“Good communication is having a door that swings both ways. It allows both the staff and the parent to have their input and it empowers the parent to understand that they are a viable and valuable part of whatever situation that they’re in.”
– Carole Morrison, Head Start Manager, Salisbury, NC

Do you find it easy to talk with parents? Do you feel they listen to your suggestions about their children’s diet and health care? No? You’re not alone!

Sometimes, a short open-ended question lets parents know you’re both on the same team and have their children’s best interest as a top priority. Instead of saying, “Did you take Latisha to the dentist to get that tooth fixed yet,” try asking, “How’s it going getting Latisha’s tooth fixed?” or “Good job getting Latisha’s tooth fixed!”

Everyone needs praise! And asking a question that doesn’t require a YES or NO answer encourages conversation and builds trust. It motivates people to move forward in changing behaviors. This kind of communicating is called motivational interviewing, or MI for short.

To see more examples of how to use these MI skills from Tooth Talk, the website about improving children’s dental health for early childhood educators and childcare providers, click on the Videos tab. You’ll find a variety of helpful videos with good tips about motivational interviewing and inspiring behavior change in parents for kids’ healthy teeth.


This Quarter’s Theme: Brush Up: Dental Care!

Tooth Talk Recommends Helpful New Resource the Parents in Your Program Will Love!

Studies show that reading bed-time stories to toddlers can benefit children socially and educationally. It promotes parent-child bonding, prepares a child for sleep and improves brain development. Did you know it can also be good for kids’ teeth health?

It is now, thanks to Book, Brush, Bed, a new program of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) that helps parents establish a predictable nighttime routine for their little one. Good things happen when there is less stress: By reading a bed-time story and then brushing their baby’s teeth with a smear of fluoride toothpaste, parents set the stage for sweet dreams of the healthy kind–for both kids and parents!

The parents in your program will appreciate the helpful articles, links and fact sheets ranging from age-appropriate brushing tips to tactics for enticing tots to enjoy brushing. All the articles are short and easy to read with colorful photos and excellent bullet points.

Book, Brush, Bed is just one of the excellent resources on Tooth Talk, the website about improving children’s dental health for early childhood educators and childcare providers. To see the innovative Book, Brush, Bed site, click here. Check out links to other vital resources you can use in your job by clicking here.


This Quarter’s Theme: Brush Up: Dental Care!

Commemorate National Children’s Dental Health Month with a Refresher Video on Toothbrushing Tips from Tooth Talk

Toothbrushing with fluoride toothpaste is important for a child’s healthy smile. Healthy teeth ensure proper growth and development, improve concentration in school and at play, and boost self-confidence.


  • Suggest to parents to start brushing their baby’s teeth twice a day at the appearance of the first tooth (usually between 6 and 10 months).
  • Use a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste on a soft bristle child’s toothbrush.
  • Brush the front, back, around and on top of each tooth, brushing gently back and forth.
  • Kids want to brush their teeth themselves. That’s OK but remind parents also to brush kids’ teeth.
  • Continue to brush children’s teeth for them daily until they can tie their shoes.

For more tips and how-tos for brushing a young child’s teeth, click on this short video:

Help Promote 2015 National Children’s Dental Health Month in February

Help the kids in your program defeat plaque and enjoy good oral health by participating in the American Dental Association’s 2015 National Children’s Dental Health Month campaign in February. This year’s youth poster theme is Defeat Monster Mouth and features tips for fighting plaque, including brushing, flossing, rinsing and eating healthy snacks. For the poster and more activities, tips and a handy guide, click here.