Preventative Care

Preventative dental care should begin as soon as the first little tooth appears. Early dental visits plus good habits at home will help ensure healthy, happy kids.

Proper Brushing 101

Up and Down? Back and forth? Side to side? Circles? What is the proper way to brush your child’s teeth?

  1. Brush your child’s teeth at least twice a day for two minutes, once in the morning and once before bed.
  2. Start with a child-sized, soft-bristle toothbrush.
  3. Place your child’s toothbrush inside their mouth at a 45-degree angle to their gums.
  4. Gently move the brush back and forth.
  5. Brush all surfaces of the teeth, front and back for 2 minutes.
  6. Don’t forget to brush their tongue, too!
  7. Change your child’s toothbrush every 3 to 4 months, or when the bristles become frayed.

Floss Like a Boss

Flossing daily will remove plaque from between your child’s teeth where the toothbrush can’t reach.  Plaque is a thin film of bacteria that collects on the surface of the tooth. It’s important to remove plaque before it turns into tartar, which is a hard deposit on teeth that causes decay and gum disease.

  1. Begin flossing your child’s teeth as soon as your little one has two or more teeth that come into contact. Note: Children are usually not able to floss well by themselves until age 10 or 11.
  2. If using a roll of floss, roll off about 12 to 18 inches of floss and wind it around one finger on each hand leaving a small amount of floss between your thumbs and forefingers. Pre-loaded flossers are also handy to use with children.
  3. Gently guide the floss between your child’s teeth using a gentle rubbing motion. Do not snap the floss against the gums.  Carefully move the floss up and down between teeth and between each tooth and the gum, removing any food particles and plaque as you go.
  4. Flossing may be a little uncomfortable at first and may cause light bleeding from your child’s gums. However, the gums will tighten up the more you floss, so keep at it.

Basic Habits

Healthy dental habits should start earlier than you think! Here are some some tips for wee ones:

• Parents should begin brushing their child’s teeth as soon as teeth begin to come in.

• For children under age 3, use only a tiny dot or smear of fluoride toothpaste on a child-size toothbrush. Older children should use a pea-size amount of paste.

• Always supervise your child when they are brushing to prevent the use of too much toothpaste. Swallowing large amounts of fluoride toothpaste may cause your child to have a stomach ache and become sick.


• Avoid too many juices and sugary snacks. Consider mixing your infant’s juice with water to cut down on the amount of sugar on their teeth. Drink water after snacks to rinse away sugars and food particles.

• Brush teeth at least twice a day, in the morning and at night.

• Floss daily between any teeth that touch.

• Phone Dr. Jacobs if you have any questions or problems with your child’s teeth.

• Fluoride helps strengthen tooth enamel, making it more resistant to decay. It is added to the public water supply, however it is not in all bottled waters, so children who consume bottled water may need to take a fluoride supplement. Ask Dr. Jacobs whether or not your child needs to use a fluoride mouthwash at home.