Dental Health

Practicing and maintaining good oral health means taking care of all the parts of your mouth, including your teeth and gums. There is a strong relationship between your oral health and your overall health. Here are some good practices to follow to ensure proper oral hygiene:
  • Floss everyday
  • Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
  • Visit your dentist at least once a year
  • Examine your mouth everyday
  • Avoid smoking
  • Don't eat too many sweets

Recommended preventive dental care frequency (from the NYC Department of Health & Mental Health):
  • Children: A child's first dental exam should occur around the time of the child's first tooth and no later than 12 months (1 year) of age. Then the child needs a dental checkup every 6 months or as determined by the child's dentist. For children under 7 years of age, ask the dentist or primary care doctor about fluoride varnish.
  • Pregnant women: Pregnant women should see a dentist at least one time during pregnancy. Necessary treatment can be provided throughout pregnancy.
  • Adults: Adults should establish a dental home and see the dentist as often as the dentist recommends.
  • Examine your mouth everyday
  • Avoid smoking
  • Don't eat too many sweets

If you or your child has any of these early warning signs of tooth decay, contact your dentist.
  • Small white spots on teeth
  • Swelling of the face
  • Tiny holes in enamel
  • Pain in mouth
  • Tooth sensitivity to heat, cold or sweets
  • Tooth pain or sensitivity when chewing

For more information on the following topics, click the appropriate link:
Taking care of your teeth (pdf)
Healthy teeth and gums (pdf-English and Spanish)
Healthy teeth for babies (pdf-English and Spanish)
How to brush your teeth (pdf-English and Spanish)
How to floss your teeth (pdf-English and Spanish)
Baby bottles and tooth decay (pdf-English and Spanish)
Bottled water and your teeth (pdf-English and Spanish)
Dental emergencies (pdf-English and Spanish)
Dentures (pdf-English and Spanish)
Diabetes and Oral Care (pdf-English and Spanish)
Don't be afraid of the dentist (pdf-English and Spanish)
Oral Health: Children with HIV (pdf)
Oral Health: People with HIV (pdf)
Pacifiers (pdf-English and Spanish)
Seal your teeth to prevent cavities (pdf-English and Spanish)
Tongue piercing and oral health (pdf-English and Spanish)
Tooth grinding (pdf-English and Spanish)
Tooth whitening (pdf-English and Spanish)
Wisdom teeth (pdf-English and Spanish)

Child Health Plus and Family Health Plus cover routine, preventive and emergency dental services through Healthplex. You do not need a referral from your PCP to see a dentist. To choose a Primary Care Dentist(PCD) or if you need help finding a dentist in your area, call Healthplex at 888-468-2189.

Medicaid members can access dental care using their MetroPlus ID card. Your benefits include dental check-ups, cleaning, x-rays, fillings and follow-up care. You do not need a referral from your PCP to see a dentist. To choose a Primary Care Dentist (PCD) or if you need help finding a dentist in your area, call Healthplex at 1.888.468.2189.

Helpful Links:
American Dental Association
NY State Oral Health