5 Member Services: 1-888-301-1228/TTY 1-888-310-7347 Stay on top of your dental health When life gets busy, it may be tempting to skip dental checkups and daily flossing. But oral health is crucial to your overall well-being. You can avoid pain and more severe health issues by taking a few easy preventive actions. For children Fluoride varnish is an easy way to help protect your child’s teeth against tooth decay. Fluoride varnish: ●Can be applied as soon as the first tooth comes in. ●Is a protective coating painted on teeth to prevent tooth decay. ●Is safe, quick, and does not hurt. ●Works best when applied two or more times a year. ●Can be applied at the doctor’s or dentist’s office. Good oral health tips for all ● Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. ● Floss once a day. ● Buy a new toothbrush every three to four months. ● Eat a balanced diet. ● Don’t use tobacco. Protect your kids from lead poisoning Lead poisoning is dangerous. Unfortunately, it continues to be prevalent among children. Understanding the different sources of lead that might be around you is vital. This way, you can help protect your little ones. Some of the common ways children can be exposed to lead are: ● Paint. Many homes built before 1978 have lead-based paint. Kids can be exposed to lead if they eat flaking paint chips or if they eat or breathe lead dust. ● Soil. Kids can also be exposed to lead if, while playing, they breathe in, swallow or eat soil with lead. ● Foods and spices. Certain foods and spices, like chapulines or turmeric, may contain lead. ● Certain products. Some items you buy can contain lead. These include things like older toys and imported candies and toys. Do not eat or drink foods or liquids stored or prepared in traditional or imported pottery. Lead can harm your child’s brain, kidneys, or other organs. Most children should get tested at the ages of 1 and 2. Many kids who are exposed to lead have no symptoms. But some common signs of lead poisoning are frequent stomachaches and headaches. Next steps Ask your doctor about testing if you think your child has not been tested or has been exposed to lead. MAKE AN APPOINTMENT with a dentist today! Call Medi-Cal Dental at 1-800-322-6384, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you use a TTY, call 1-800-735-2929.