1025 Vey Way • The Dalles, OR 97058 • 541.296.5766 • E-mail

Dennis Alleman, DMD, PC

Infant Dental Care

Infant Dental Problems

The earlier your child's first dental visit, the better the chance of preventing dental problems.

Advice About Teething

Sore gums from teething occur often for a few days at a time between the ages of 6 months to about age 3.

Babies often get relief from a clean teething ring, a cold spoon or cold wash cloth. Chilled teething rings or rubbing a clean finger on the sore gum area often helps.

Sometimes baby might develop a fever or other symptoms and will need a visit to the pediatrician.

Children with healthy teeth can chew food well, breath and speak clearly, and share precious smiles. Start your child on a lifetime of good dental habits and health now!

Your Child's First Dental Visit

We would like to see your child soon after the baby teeth come in at about 12 to 18 months of age for a pleasant visit and to see that he/she is developing normally. We would love to see your child earlier if you notice a problem, or if you have any questions.

Cleaning Baby's Teeth

This is a good habit to start early- even before the teeth are in! The teeth and gums must be cleaned as soon as they come in. At first use a damp washcloth wrapped around your finger or on of the store bought infant tooth cleaners available. Later on use a soft baby tooth brush.

At first, you won't need any toothpaste, but after the baby (primary) teeth start erupting, start off with a very small amount of fluoride containing tooth paste on the wash cloth and wipe it off after cleaning so baby doesn't swallow the fluoride. You will gradually increase the size and amount of toothpaste as you progress to a soft infant toothbrush at about 18 months. Never use too much toothpaste. A little goes a long way, and you should never need more than the size of a small pea or less until your child is about 6 or so. Also, try not to let your child swallow any fluoride containing product- have him/her spit it out.

Remember, tooth brushing and oral care is definitely the parent's job in the preschool years. You have to do it for them! It's good for the children to practice and play at it to develop skill, but they will not develop the manual dexterity or understanding to be able to brush their teeth well until they are about 8 years old. So make this a pleasant, nurturing bonding experience for both parent and child and be sure to check for any chalky or brown spots that could mean decay.

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