Community Oral Health Resources

From infancy into adulthood, there are always ways to improve and maintain your oral health. Each step of the way, you can trust CDA to provide you and your family with important and relevant information. From figuring out the best age for dental sealants to locating affordable dental care for seniors, CDA has you and your loved ones in mind.

Cancer Prevention

Oral Cancer

This year, approximately 30,000 American will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer. Learn more about these diseases by visiting:

Tobacco Cessation

Children's Oral Health

  • Baby Teeth Matter and Kick the Can, available in both English and Spanish, are great resources for communicating the importance of maintaining good oral health, including avoiding sugary drinks and making healthy choices.
    • Baby Teeth Matter: English version | Spanish version
    • Kick the Can: English version | Spanish version
  • The CDA's Dental Health Education Resource Guide is a fun and informative way for teachers to introduce children to the importance of good oral health. The guide is available in in preschool through second grade and third through fifth grade versions. Additional resources for educators are available through ADA's Smile Smarts! Oral Health Curriculum, which offers modular lesson plans for preschool through 8th grade.
  • Kindergarten Oral Health Requirement: In 2006, California passed AB1433 requiring a dental check-up for every child entering public school for the first time. This is one way schools can ensure children are healthy and ready to learn - by identifying children with unmet dental needs and helping parents establish a dental home for their children. AB 1433 resources and reported data can be accessed here.
  • Share The Care, a public-private partnership between the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, the San Diego County Dental Society, and the San Diego County Dental Health Coalition, has developed a variety of resources for educators and advocates to educate children on the importance of goods oral health.
  • The National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center provides a broad range of resources to support health professionals, program administrators, educators, policymakers, researchers and others to improve oral health services for infants, children, adolescents, and families.
  • First Smiles, a four-year, $7 million statewide initiative, was developed to address the silent epidemic of early childhood caries among children 5 years old and younger. First Smiles' Dental Health Begins at Birth downloadable brochures are available in 10 languages.

Dental Disease Prevention

Dental Sealants

  • Dental sealants help protect teeth from cavities by placing a protective coating over the deep grooves in back teeth. Find out how your child can benefit from dental sealants.

Fluoride and Fluoridation

Help Finding Dental Care

Dental Clinics

Government Dental Benefit Programs

A description of California's government benefit programs is available here. It describes California's Medicaid program (called Medi-Cal), Child Health and Disability Prevention (CHDP), Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT), and California Children's Services (CSS). It also includes details regarding eligibility as well as external links to a variety of government websites and documents. To access the Medi-Cal program website directly, click here.

Special Care

Resources for Parents of Children with Special Needs

A common issue for many young children with special needs is oral sensitivity, which can impact eating, nutrition, speech, toothbrushing, dental check-ups and oral health. Families may receive education from occupational therapists, dental health educators and other health professionals regarding this issue. In an effort to provide consistent messages to parents, a group of oral health specialists and occupational therapists met to develop parent messages to address oral sensitivity and improve oral health and feeding practices.

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research provides practical oral health care assistance for people with special needs, including Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Down’s Syndrome and more.

Healthy Smiles for Autism was created by the National Museum of Dentistry to empower parents of children with autism spectrum disorder to establish a healthy oral hygiene routine and prepare their children for a visit to the dentist.

The Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN) is a network of hospitals, physicians, researchers, and families working together to develop the effective approaches to medical care for children and adolescents affected by autism. They have developed a downloadable Dental Professional’s toolkit.

The Anderson Center for Dental Care, located in San Diego and dedicated to taking care of the dental needs of pediatric patients, especially those with special healthcare needs, has developed handouts for parents of children with autism and with down syndrome.

Pregnancy and Oral Health

Pregnancy is a unique time in a woman's life that is characterized by complex bodily changes. These changes can negatively affect oral health during pregnancy. Pregnancy and early childhood are particularly important times to access oral health care because the consequences of poor oral health can have a lifelong impact. Improving your oral health during pregnancy prevents complications associated with dental diseases, may reduce preterm and low birth weight deliveries, and has the potential to prevent early childhood cavities in your infant.

Learn more about the effects of your oral health during pregnancy by visiting:

Oral Health and Aging

  • "Smiles for Life" was developed by CDA to raise awareness of the importance of continued good oral health for older adults. The materials cover issues related to oral health and the daily oral care of the semi-dependent and independent older adult. This resource is available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Hmong, Russian, and Vietnamese.
  • The American Dental Association's Mouth Healthy program provides information for "Adults Over 60" to maintain their oral health.
Children's Oral Health
ADA's Healthy Mouth website
Low-Cost or Free Dental Services

CDA and our 27,000 member dentists across California are pleased to provide assistance in locating a source of low-cost dental care. Search for clinics that offer free or discounted dental services.

The California Dental Association Foundation, CDA and national partner America's Dentists Care Foundation, host CDA Cares, providing free dental care and education. Find the details and location of the next CDA Cares event.

Find a dentist
Find a CDA member dentist in your area
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In the News

The CDA Foundation’s volunteer-run dental program, CDA Cares, is coming to San Bernardino, Calif., Sept. 27-28, and online registration for the clinic is now open. Around 1,950 people who experience barriers to dental care receive no-cost services and oral health education at each CDA Cares. The September clinic will take place at the National Orange Show Events Center.


Students advocate for dentistry, oral health at the state Capitol

Grassroots Advocacy Days are in full swing as student representatives from California’s six dental schools met with their local legislators and legislative staff to discuss critical issues affecting dentistry. CDA coordinates these small-group advocacy days each year at the state Capitol in Sacramento. The goal is to help members learn about the legislative process and to allow participants to have in-depth, interactive discussions with lawmakers about dentistry and oral health.


Oral health care of older adults featured in CDA Journal

The April issue of the Journal of the California Dental Association explores the oral health issues of older adults. Articles discuss three models of elderly patient care that have sought to overcome barriers to the integration of medicine and dentistry; a conceptual framework for a broad public health approach to improving the oral health of older adults; and more.


CDA bill makes silver diamine fluoride a covered Medi-Cal benefit

Silver diamine fluoride would become a covered benefit as a treatment option for tooth decay for specified Medi-Cal Dental Program enrollees under a new bill authored by Sen. Richard Pan. Senate Bill 154 would make SDF a covered benefit if applied as part of a patient’s comprehensive treatment plan and with the patient’s written informed consent.


CDA Cares Solano provides nearly $1.3 million in oral health care

The CDA Foundation’s volunteer dental clinic, CDA Cares, provided nearly $1.3 million in charitable dental services to 1,491 people at the Solano County Fairgrounds March 8-9. During the two-day event, dentists and dental professionals performed 8,955 procedures, including fillings, extractions and cleanings. Additionally, the clinic provided patients with oral health education.