Oral Care for Infants

oral care for infants

oral care for infantsServing patients of Erwin, Jonesborough, and Greeneville, TN

If you are a new parent, you want to make sure your baby is as happy and healthy as possible. Have you paid attention to the oral health of your baby? Oral care is crucial for infants, and professional dental care starts earlier in life than you might realize. In fact, the American Dental Association recommends taking your child to the dentist no later than their first birthday or as soon as the first premature tooth emerges from the gum line—whichever comes first.

Your Greeneville family dentist at Tusculum Dental Care wants to help.

Follow these tips for oral care for your infants to set up your baby for a lifetime of good oral health:

Teething: Whether you are a baby or a parent, teething is no fun. For some babies, teeth erupt with no problem, but this is the exception to the rule. For many babies, teething is a tedious and painful process. Parents should be aware of the signs that teething—which can begin anywhere between the ages of three and 12 months—is beginning. These symptoms include fussiness, irritability, problems sleeping, a decrease in appetite, and increased drooling. Many babies see their temperature increase slightly while they are teething, but if your infant starts running a high-grade fever while teething, be sure to call your pediatrician as soon as possible.

Parents can follow certain tips during teething to help ease the pain for their infants. These tips include gum massage, by applying counter pressure with the finger to help reduce teething pain; or using teething rings, toys, or even a chilled washcloth, as any of these measures can reduce inflammation and pain. If your infant appears to be particularly uncomfortable while teething, appropriate doses of a pain relief medication like acetaminophen can be helpful. Make sure to avoid any teething pain-relief medications that contain benzocaine, however. 

Oral hygiene: When should you start brushing your child’s teeth? As soon as they appear. Even teeth that just emerged from the gum line should be cleaned regularly, by using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Be sure not to use too much toothpaste, as swallowing it can upset your baby’s still-developing digestive system. Each time you brush the teeth of your infant, use a very small quantity of toothpaste that only should be about the size of a grain of rice.

Pediatric dental care in Greeneville

Tooth decay is an epidemic in America. Approximately 50 percent of children have had at least one cavity by the time they reach the first grade, and about 80 percent of 17-year-olds have dealt with tooth decay by that age. Cavities and other oral health issues lead to millions of hours of lost school time and restricted activity. Plus, the mouth is the gateway to the body, making good oral health a cornerstone of good overall health.

Start a regimen of good oral care now. Tusculum Dental Care can care for patients of any age. We also offer preventive care treatments that can help lower your child’s risk of tooth decay and other oral health problems. To learn more about our services, contact our office today by calling (423) 639-7575 to schedule a consultation.

Tusculum Dental Care is proud to serve patients in the areas of Greeneville, Jonesborough, and Erwin, Tennessee.