Child Oral Health

Child Oral

Child Oral Health

Healthy teeth and gums are important for a child’s social, academic, and nutritional success. Stay on top of your child’s oral health with regular dental care.

Preventing Dental Decay

Dental decay, sometimes called cavities or caries, is the softening of tooth enamel and can create a hole. Decay happens when plaque breaks down sugars in the mouth and forms an acid.

Plaque is a sticky film that lays on the teeth and forms daily. Brushing twice a day and flossing often can stop plaque from forming on teeth. Watching your diet by limiting sugary drinks, candy and starchy foods can help stop the decay process from starting.

CPS School-based Dental Services

CDPH partners with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to provide students Pre-K through twelfth with access to dental services at no cost to families, including:

  • Dental exam/screening
  • Oral prophylaxis (dental cleaning) on all erupted tooth surfaces
  • Fluoride varnish treatment on all erupted tooth surfaces
  • Dental sealants (as prescribed/determined by dentist)
  • Dental referral and case management for extended care for students who need additional dental care outside of the school program
  • Dental education for children

To receive no-cost dental services at school, parents must fill out and sign a dental consent and HIPAA authorization form (English | Spanish).
Learn more about the dental health program by visiting the CPS Student Health Services website.

Find a Dentist

It’s important to establish a relationship with a dentist who can provide regular checkups to ensure children get the dental care they need as their teeth develop. Using our resource finder, you can search for a clinic based on name, location, hours of operation, languages spoken, and acceptance of Medicaid.


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Additional Reading

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Basics of Children’s Oral Health

The CDC provides factual information and helpful links for preventing tooth decay in children.

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Baby’s Oral Health

Infants need special care to ensure healthy teeth and gums. Learn what steps you can take.

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Your Child’s Doctor and You

Learn about common oral health issues in children—and what you can do about them.

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