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Children's Dental Health

Dental decay remains the most common chronic disease among children. Children experience unnecessary discomfort from tooth decay, which limits their eating, talking, and learning. Poor oral health will affect a child’s overall health. The good news about tooth decay is that it is preventable with good oral hygiene, proper diet, and regular sixth month visits to the dentist for cleanings, fluoride, and sealants.

The Cambridge Healthy Smiles program provides free dental screenings and in-class oral health education for all preschool, 1st, 3rd, 6th, and 9th grade students in Cambridge Public Schools. Cambridge Healthy Smiles has been enormously successful in identifying Cambridge children at risk for dental disease and referral for treatment to local dental offices in Cambridge. The program's goal is to reach all students through a curriculum that adapts to age level and reflects student diversity. Increased oral health awareness will lead to improved overall health for the students and their families.

The school nurses play an important role working with the dental hygienist. The oral health curriculum was developed in collaboration with CPS Health Education & Social Emotional Learning and Cambridge Public Health Department's Cambridge in Motion

During their time at Cambridge Public Schools, students will learn about:

  • Importance of a Healthy Mouth  
  • The Tooth Decay Process 
  • The Mouth is Important to the Body
  • Keep your Teeth for Life 

Dental Tips for Parents

  • Dental Tips for Young Children
  • Dental Tips for Cold Season


Resources for Parents

Last revised on July 29, 2020



For more information about the Cambridge Healthy Smiles program, please contact:

Marlena D. Wilson, RDH, BS
Oral Health Specialist
Healthy Smiles Program
Cambridge Public Health Department


Click to see Cambridge Healthy Smile's schedule for events and screening. 

Schedule (PDF)


Cambridge Public Health Department
119 Windsor Street
Cambridge, MA 02139
617-665-3826 (main)
617-665-3800 (main)
617-665-3888 (fax)
617-643-0744 (TTY)

Hours: Monday-Friday:
8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.
After Hours

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Claude-Alix Jacob
Chief Public Health Officer



Cambirdge Health Alliance

Cambridge City
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