Oral health is an important part of children's overall health. Although many factors may impact a child's oral health, the resources below will help you educate families about healthy routines, good oral hygiene, proper tooth development, and how fluoride protects teeth.
HealthyChildren.org is the most trusted parent website because it is powered by pediatricians. On this site, parents can find information about everything related to their child's health and development, including oral health.
Protect Tiny Teeth
Protect Tiny Teeth is a free resource toolkit developed from the American Academy of Pediatrics to educate families and health professionals about the importance of good oral health during pregnancy and infancy. Find videos, infographics, posters, and brochures in many languages within the toolkit. Read more about pre- and post-natal oral health care on HealthyChildren.org.
Brush, Book, Bed: How to Structure Your Child's Nighttime Routine
Brush, Book, Bed is an AAP Program with a simple and clear message for parents.
- Help your children to brush their teeth
- Read a favorite book (or two!)
- Get to bed at a regular time each night.
The Brush, Book, Bed message and program are intended for children 6 months – 6 years. The program aims to improve oral health services in the medical home by linking oral health information with messages about early literacy, sleep, and establishing a regular nighttime routine.
Pediatricians and other medical providers can learn how to bring the Brush, Book, Bed program to their practice by utilizing the Brush, Book, Bed Implementation Guide. The guide was produced based on the experiences of pediatric and family medicine practices when they piloted the program in 2014/2015. The guide is full of resources and tools on oral health, early literacy, and sleep for pediatricians, dentists, and other health care providers to help implement the Brush, Book, Bed program. These resources include patient and provider education, talking points for families, information for obtaining supplies, dental referral guides, oral health coding services, waiting room posters, handouts for parents, and stickers for children.
Steps to Implementation
- Establish buy-in from your practice and co-workers.
- Identify a Brush, Book, Bed Champion who will coordinate the program and inspire staff.
- Organize and promote training for staff on oral health, early literacy, and sleep. This includes coding/billing information and where to order dental supplies. See Sample Clinical Workflow for a Brush, Book, Bed Program for ideas on how to integrate it into your clinical workflow.
- Obtain supplies and set up the practice for easy implementation. This may take a few PDSA cycles to find out what works best in your particular office.
- Reach out to dental referral sources to establish relationships and make them aware of your Brush, Book, Bed program efforts.
- Consider if you will need to receive donations of books, toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, mouth wash, or other materials. It may be possible to partner with a community organization, dentist, or to host a book drive to reach your goals.
- Develop an evaluation plan using the survey tool included in the Brush, Book, Bed appendix.
- Create goals (such as varnishing 25% of your patients under age 3), post them in a public area, revisit the goals often, and celebrate when the goals are achieved.
Brush, Book, Bed Resources
HealthyChildren.org - Brush, Book, Bed: Information for families to help them structure a nighttime routine for their children which includes brushing teeth, reading a book, and creating a regular bed time.
Brush, Book, Bed Poster: Hang a poster in your practice that explains the Brush, Book, Bed message to families.
Brush, Book, Bed Poster - Spanish: The poster is also available in Spanish.
Brush, Book, Bed Caregiver Handout: Print copies of this handout to give to caregivers when introducing the Brush, Book, Bed program. The handout will answer questions and help them structure their child’s nighttime routine.
Brush, Book, Bed Caregiver Handout - Spanish: Print copies of the Spanish version of this handout to give to caregivers.
Brush, Book, Bed Stickers: Print these stickers on white 2” x 4” mailing labels (10 per sheet) and stick them on distributed books to help parents remember the Brush, Book, Bed message.
Brush, Book, Bed Bookmarks: Print these bookmarks on sturdy paper, quickly cut along the four gray lines, and give out to patients and families to help them remember the Brush, Book, Bed message as they read.
Literacy Promotion: An Essential Component of Primary Care Pediatric Practice: Read this helpful policy statement on literacy.
Reach Out and Read: Reach Out and Read is an evidence-based nonprofit organization of medical providers who promote early literacy and school readiness by integrating children's books and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud to their children while being seen at well-child visits (between 6 months and 5 years).
HealthyChildren.org Sleep: Browse these helpful parent and family focused articles on the importance of sleep.
SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Expansion of Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment Read this AAP policy statement focused on SIDS recommendations.
Sleep: What Every Parent Needs to Know: View this book for patients. It focuses on sleep and is available for purchase.
Zero to Three Sleep: View these helpful parent and family focused articles on the importance of sleep.
Other Oral Health Resources for Families:
Help parents find a Medicaid/CHIP Dentist
Find a Pediatric Dentist and other oral health resources at the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry website.
American Dental Association MouthHealthy website
The Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives launches the 2min2x campaign with the Ad Council
Get oral health tips from the National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness
American Academy of Pediatrics