Central California Alliance for Health | Living Healthy | June 2020
HEALTHY 2 As your child grows, it is important that they receive their Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT) services . With EPSDT services, your child will have regular checkups, also known as well-child visits , at least once a year, even when your child is not sick. You may have received a letter from the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) reminding you of your next well- child visit. You may have also received a phone call reminder. The Alliance is partnering with DHCS to make sure your child gets the best care possible at the right time. The Alliance will send a reminder letter to you later this year if your child has not yet seen a doctor and is due for a visit. You don’t have to wait for all of your baby’s teeth to arrive to get started on healthy oral habits. Tooth decay—the disease that causes cavities—is caused by germs in the mouth, but cavities are preventable. To help prevent cavities, keep your baby’s mouth clean. This will help teeth stay strong and healthy. Just like in adults, healthy teeth help babies chew, talk, smile and feel good. Healthy baby teeth save room for grown-up teeth, too. A first birthday gives you and your baby a lot to celebrate. Here are some tips to help your baby have a healthy mouth and teeth starting at an early age: ■ ■ Take your baby to the dentist by his or her first birthday or when a first tooth appears—whichever comes first. ■ ■ Keep sugary drinks, such as juice, out of your baby’s bottle. ■ ■ Don’t let your baby fall asleep with a bottle or sippy cup in his or her mouth or sip from it all day. At about 6 months, start using a real cup so that a bottle won’t be needed by the baby’s first birthday. ■ ■ As your baby’s teeth begin to show through the gums, start brushing twice a day with a little dab of fluoride toothpaste (about the size of a grain of rice) to help protect the new teeth. ■ ■ Ask your baby’s pediatrician or dentist about fluoride varnish. This is a Medi-Cal covered benefit for children 0 to 5 years. Three varnishes are allowed in a 12-month period. Fluoride will help protect the baby’s teeth from tooth decay. ■ ■ Ask your baby’s pediatrician for a dentist referral. Dental visits for children are covered by Medi-Cal. First tooth or first birthday = first visit with the dentist EPSDT services What are Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT) services? These services will: ● ● Help prevent your child from getting sick ● ● Find health problems early ● ● Keep track of your child’s development ● ● Make sure your child receives vaccines and screenings at the right time Who can get EPSDT services? Alliance Medi-Cal members from birth through age 21.