top of page

Childrens Dental Health

​Healthy Smile Plan

At Eagle Harbor Dental, every patient is important to us, but helping children learn and maintain great oral hygiene is especially rewarding. We speak with your child about their brushing and flossing habits, offer multiple choices during the visit such as fluoride flavor and toothbrush color, and explain each procedure to encourage participation. Children are invited to choose something from our Treasure Box at the end of their appointment. We enthusiastically celebrate great dental check-ups! We find this a wonderful way to encourage each child's commitment to daily oral care. Smile!


This information is intended to help you understand your child's dental preventive care. While this information is intended to help promote the dental health of your child, it can be applied to an individual of any age to help reduce their risk of dental caries. If implemented and followed, these are the aspects of home dental care that can help assure a lifetime of good dental health.

Oral Hygiene

Infant care

  • Clean the gums daily with a clean wet piece of gauze or a clean washcloth. This will help to promote a healthy oral environment.

  •  The bacteria that cause tooth decay can be passed from parents, siblings, and/or caregivers to infants as young as 6 months old until around 32 months of age. Thus, good oral health is essential for all family members

  • Infants should not be put to sleep with bottles containing anything other than water. Milk, juices, and other flavored beverages contain sugars and/or acids that can damage a child's teeth even before they appear! Coating a pacifier with any sweetener is also strongly discouraged.

  • Fluoride-containing toothpaste on a very soft toothbrush can be used once the first tooth appears. The amount of toothpaste should be the size of a grain of rice for children less than 2 years of age. There are toothbrushes specifically designed for infants and toddlers.

Recommended amount of Fluoride toothpaste

                                  Child less than 2 years      Child 2-6 years















Visit our office for a complimentary toothbrush that is just the right size for your child!


Brushing and Flossings for Toddlers and older

  • Parents must take an active role in brushing their child's teeth. Until the age of 7, most children do not have the dexterity to clean their teeth effectively. We recommend that children be encouraged to brush their own teeth and then have a parent or caregiver do a 'check-up' brushing. For children, less than 7 years of age the parent should either lay the child on their back or position themselves behind the child and lift the child's lip to brush their teeth. Remember that brushing in small circles will better remove plaque hiding below the gumline than simple up-and-down or side-to-side movements.​

Brushing positions for parents













  • Select and use fluoride-containing toothpaste that has the American Dental Association seal of approval.

  • Brushing should be done twice per day, especially prior to bedtime.

  • Spit out the toothpaste; do not swallow it! Also, do not rinse immediately after brushing. Allowing the fluoride in the toothpaste to be in contact with the teeth for a longer period of time increases its benefit.​Use a timer…. two minutes is an ideal amount of time to brush the teeth. Come by the office and ask for a brushing chart and two-minute timer!

  • We recommend that everyone floss each day.

  • Parents will need to take an active role in assisting their child until they have the dexterity to master the effective shoeshine technique

  • Flossing is especially important once there is no longer spaces between the teeth.· There are a variety of flossing aids available that can make flossing easier and more fun.

Ask us for a sample that will encourage this healthy habit for you or your child!




  • Water is the safest and best drink for your child in terms of not promoting dental decay.










  • Try to limit juices, milk, soda and other sugar-containing beverages to mealtime.

  •  Have your child drink a little water after snacks and meals.

  • Sipping on sugar-containing beverages for a long period of time increases the risk for dental caries.


  • Check labels! Foods that have sugar or high fructose corn syrup as one of the first three ingredients have high potential to cause dental decay.

  • Carbohydrates and starchy foods (chips, cereals, crackers) can promote tooth decay.· The sticker the food, the longer it remains in contact with the tooth, and the greater the chance of tooth decay.

  • Try to limit foods high in sugars and starches to mealtimes. At other times and when brushing immediately afterward is not possible, have your child rinse or drink with water to shorten the time the teeth are susceptible to decay.


· Try to limit prolonged snacking or drinking of foods with high sugar content.



Fluoride is a very important preventive tool for your child's teeth throughout their life. There are two delivery methods for fluoride; systemic and topical. Both have a vital role in increasing caries resistance, but topical fluoride is the most important.

Systemic Fluoride

  • This is the fluoride that is ingested by your child. It may be in the form of water fluoridation or by fluoride supplements.

  • Systemic fluoride's main effectiveness is during tooth development (usually completed by age twelve).​

Topical Fluoride

  • Topical fluoride is received through many routes including water fluoridation, fluoride toothpastes, fluoride rinses and professionally applied fluorides at your dentist office.

  • Topical fluoride is the single most important preventive measure to help prevent dental caries. It has the ability to actually halt or reverse the caries process!

  • Specific home topical fluoride protocols can be recommended based on your child's risk for caries. At the minimum, your child should be brushing at least twice per day with a fluoride containing toothpaste.


It is our intention that this material will give you a better understanding on how to establish great dental hygiene habits for your family and life-long oral health for your child. We are more than happy to address any questions that you have about this material or other dental concerns. Feel free to contact us!​ ​​

bottom of page