Dental (Children)

Dedicating to promoting good dental health for all children

Summary Overview

Tooth decay (cavities) is one of the most common chronic conditions of childhood in the United States. Untreated tooth decay can cause pain and infections that may lead to problems with eating, speaking, playing, and learning.


Maintaining proper oral health will prevent and control oral diseases. Tooth decay is preventable. Fluoride varnish, a high concentration fluoride coating that is painted on teeth can prevent about one-third (33%) of decay in the primary (baby) teeth.

Flouride in our Water

Community water fluoridation is widely accepted by the scientific community to be the safest, most cost effective, and most equitable method to prevent tooth decay in children and adults. The Washington State Board of Health recommends an optimal level for fluoride in drinking water of 0.7 mg/L; at these levels there is no evidence of negative health outcomes or toxicity. Spokane is the largest city in the State of Washington without fluoridated drinking water. This brief summarizes recent scientific literature, provides local contextual details, and offers a characterization of predicted health impacts of water fluoridation.

Read the full Community Water Fluoridation Policy Brief.

Spokane or Washington Specific Data


To ensure good oral health for your child:

  • Protect your child’s teeth with fluoride toothpaste. Clean gums and teeth with a wash cloth or gauze from the newborn through teething stages.
  • Begin flossing when the baby’s first teeth appear.
  • Watch your child brush their teeth. Make sure your child only uses a pea-sized amount of toothpaste and always spits it out instead of swallowing it.
  • If your drinking water is not fluoridated, ask your dentist or pediatrician if your child needs oral fluoride supplements.
  • Talk to your child’s dentists about dental sealants as they protect teeth from decay.
  • Have your child visit a dentist for a first checkup by age 1.
  • Drinking fluoridated water keeps the teeth strong and reduced tooth decay by approximately 25% in children and adults. By preventing tooth decay, community water fluoridation has been shown to save money, both for families and the health care system.

About 1 of 5 (20%) children aged 5 to 11 years have at least one untreated decayed tooth. (CDC)

Dental Health for Health Care Providers
Dental Health for Health Care Providers

Working closely with health care providers as they are a trusted source of information on how dental health affects the overall health of adults and children.

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Dental Emergencies
Dental Emergencies

Have a dental emergency?

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