February is National Children’s Dental Health month.


The Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) reminds Iowans of the importance of early preventive dental care. Beginning regular dental visits by the age of 1, using fluoridated water, and brushing twice a day can help prevent painful cavities from forming in a child’s mouth.

DHS participates in the I-Smile Dental Home Initiative that helps Iowa's children connect with dental services. I-Smile was created by the Iowa Department of Public Health, DHS, the University of Iowa College of Dentistry, and the Iowa Dental Association.

The I-Smile dental home uses a team approach. The dental home team includes dentists who provide treatment and definitive evaluation. Other health professionals such as dental hygienists, physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, physician assistants, and dietitians are a part of a larger network and can provide oral screenings, education, anticipatory guidance, and preventive services as needed. Visit theIDPH Oral Health Center for more information on resources in your area. 

If you need assistance with health and dental coverage you can visit the DHS application page to find out whether your family qualifies for Medicaid.

For uninsured children of working families there’s the hawk-i program or the hawk-i dental benefits-only program that provides low-cost or free coverage.