The Texas Tooth Steps Perinatal Program

After a successful pilot project, TxOHC is looking to expand their perinatal program geographically and with additional partners.

Texas Tooth Steps is the first step in oral health education and implementing positive oral health behaviors for moms and infants. This program addresses three specific oral health behaviors, a healthy diet for infants, oral hygiene and dental attendance. 

Participants first listen to a brief oral health presentation then sign up to participate in a series of short texted survey questions until their child is two years of age to measure the success of the project.  Expectant or new mothers receive a gift bag containing a set of three onesies for their baby and printed with an age-specific oral health message corresponding to the size of the onesie, (3 months, 6 months and 12 months). Also included is an educational brochure in English and Spanish that provides oral health instructions with pictures demonstrating the information about all three oral health behaviors, along with an infant and adult sized toothbrush to help enforce behaviors in the home.  

By incorporating the techniques of positive reinforcement and rewards with the tools of intentionally timed texted messages, attention grabbing slogans, and meaningful visual cues, the educator can implement lessons that have a lasting and beneficial impact on his/her students.

Testimony, Stories and Sound Bites From Program Participants

Participant from Cadena de Madres (Driscoll Children’s Hospital)
I never knew baby teeth made a difference. I’m gonna take care of my baby’s teeth. I guess I should see a dentist too. I have gums that bleed. That can’t be good.

Participant from Texas A&M Univ, Title IX program
I’m a college student and thought I was pretty smart about health but I learned a lot today. Thank you. I love the onesies. They are so cute.

Participant from Coastal Bend CASA (Council on Alcohol and Substance Abuse)
These outfits are so pretty, I am going to let my baby wear them everywhere. When people ask me, I will tell them take their kids to the dentist and that it’s important.

If you are a program participant and would like to provide written testimony, a quote or submit a picture of your baby wearing a onesie for publicity purposes, please contact TxOHC.  If you are submitting a picture  a signed Model Release form is required.