Care for Your Smile

Keeping your teeth healthy is one of the best things you can do for your overall health.

To take care of your gums and teeth, follow these tips.

1. Go to the Dentist

Use your free or low-cost Medi‑Cal dental services and see a dentist for regular check‑ups and cleanings. Maintaining regular dental visits is important for your oral health and overall health.

Find a Medi‑Cal dentist and schedule an appointment today!

2. Even if You’re Pregnant!

It is safe and recommended to see the dentist while you’re pregnant. Like the rest of your body, your mouth experiences changes during pregnancy. These changes can affect your health. Seeing the dentist for a cleaning and exam early in your pregnancy can reduce your risk for cavities and gum disease.

For more information, visit our Pregnancy page.

woman brushing her teeth

3. Care for your Baby’s Teeth

Healthy gums make way for healthy teeth! Help keep your baby’s gums healthy by gently wiping them with a washcloth every day. Schedule your baby’s first dental visit when their first tooth appears or by their first birthday, whichever comes first.

For more information, visit our Babies page.

4. Ask About Molar Sealants

Molar sealants are clear, protective coatings put on permanent first and second molars to help keep them healthy and protected from cavities. You should schedule an appointment for your child to get molar sealants when their permanent back teeth have grown in. This happens as early as five years old!

For more information about molar sealants, visit our Kids page.

5. Use the Right Amount of Toothpaste

Make sure your kids use the right amount of toothpaste for their age! Children ages 0-3 should use a grain of rice-sized amount of toothpaste. Children 3 years and above should use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.

6. Seniors

Healthy teeth and gums are an important part of our overall health. As we age, however, changes in our bodies increase our risk of cavities and gum disease. Practicing good oral health habits can help keep you and your smile healthy.

For more information, visit our Seniors page.

7. Practice Good Habits Every Day

Practicing good daily oral hygiene, scheduling regular dental check-ups, and living a healthier lifestyle is the best way to keep your gums and teeth healthy. It also helps reduce your risk of more serious health problems.

Infographic with instructions on proper brushing techniques

8. Eat Well

To have a healthy mouth, you need to do more than just brush and floss; you also need to eat a balanced diet. Eating sugary foods and drinks puts you at a higher risk for gum disease and tooth decay.

9. Avoid Bad Habits

Do not smoke or chew tobacco. Smoking and chewing tobacco stains your teeth, gives you bad breath, and can cause cancer.

10. Get Care Right Away

If you have unexpected dental problems or concerns in-between your regularly scheduled visits, call your dental office for help. If you are in pain, see your dentist right away or go to the emergency room.

For more information on what to do during a dental emergency, visit our Common Questions page.

split image - first side bowl of salad second side woman with toothache