Dental disease can be prevented! The most common ways to prevent cavities are through use of fluoride, brushing and flossing your teeth, and dental sealants applied to the chewing surfaces of children’s back teeth. Visiting the dentist regularly, from the age of one, is also important to prevent disease. And the food you eat, what you drink, and how often you eat and drink is also important for preventing dental disease.


  • Brush your teeth 2 times a day for 2 minutes each time

  • Use a soft bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste

  • Brush in the morning to keep your breath minty fresh

  • Brush at night after your last meal

  • Listen to your favorite song or set a timer for 2 minutes

  • Use an electric toothbrush - it can do a lot of the work for you



Floss at least once a day.


Use waxed floss to help the floss slide between teeth easier and floss picks in between meals, if you don't have floss.


Ask your dentist or dental hygienist to show you how to floss.

Dental Visits

Visiting the dentist every 6 months can help keep your mouth and teeth healthy. When you visit the dentist, you can expect:

  • Your teeth will be cleaned and polished to remove germs

  • The dentist will look in your mouth with a mirror to make sure your teeth and mouth are healthy

  • X-rays may be taken to check the insides of teeth and the bones that hold them in place

  • Fluoride will be put on your teeth to make them super strong

  • If the dentist finds cavities or gum disease, you may need more follow-up appointments

  • At the end of the appointment, most dentists provide new toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss to take home 

Food and Drinks

Choosing healthy food is important for your teeth and whole body. Fruits and vegetables and dairy products like cheese and yogurt make your gums stronger and teeth happy. Expand the information to learn more about how the foods we choose can change our health.

Dental Sealants

Almost all of the cavities we get are on the chewing surfaces of back teeth. Dental sealants can be painted on those surfaces to harden and then prevent cavities from starting. The best time to apply dental sealants to permanent back teeth is just after they erupt in a child’s mouth. Dental sealants are applied at the dentist’s office. Also, many schools in Iowa participate in the I-Smile@School program, which applies dental sealants in elementary schools.


Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that protects teeth from getting cavities. When we eat or drink certain foods, an acid forms in the mouth that attacks tooth enamel, which can make a hole – or cavity. The stronger the tooth enamel is, the less chance a tooth has of getting a cavity.

Fluoride is in most of the water that we drink. Fluoride is also used at dentist or doctor visits – applied to your teeth. Your teeth can also stay strong by using toothpaste with fluoride and fluoride mouth rinses that you can buy in the store.