Preventive Pediatric Dentistry: Dental Exams and Teeth Cleanings for Infant Teeth

Pediatric Dentist Asheville, NC

Maintaining and monitoring a child's oral health from the very start can reduce the risk of future problems, such as multiple cavities. A pediatric dentistry clinic can help parents learn why early visits for infants are so important. From preventing gingivitis to monitoring the way a baby's teeth grow and erupt, regular dental visits for infants from six months up to 1 year old have a variety of benefits. 

Why is infant dental care important? 

Many parents may not assume that early dental care is necessary or beneficial for infants because baby teeth eventually fall out. In truth, monitoring the growth of the first teeth can prevent problems later on, such as: 

  • Inconsistent tooth cleaning 
  • Thumb sucking and pacifier use 
  • A lack of fluoride

One serious problem that can occur unless monitored is baby bottle decay. This occurs when babies are allowed to go to sleep with a bottle; the milk or formula remains in the mouth, and the bacteria that then forms promotes early tooth decay. A clinic experienced in pediatric dentistry can monitor and prevent decay that may affect future adult teeth or cause oral infection. Babies up to a year old can also benefit from a variety of other services when visiting a pediatric dental clinic. 

Regular cleanings 

When babies' first teeth come in, they must be properly and regularly cleaned to prevent decay that might cause pain and infection or the early loss of the baby teeth. Without the primary teeth, the adult teeth can come in crooked. While parents should also clean new teeth at home with gauze and water, dental clinic cleanings can ensure new teeth remain healthy. 

Regular cleaning visits usually begin with a comprehensive exam, where the parents can voice any concerns about the child's oral health, such as if certain teeth are coming in late. Being able to ask these questions can set parents' minds at ease, especially if they have noticed anything unusual. 

Early X-rays 

Sometimes, when babies' teeth do not come in as expected, X-rays can reveal the problem. A lack of teeth could affect how babies react to early solid foods and speech as well. Comprehensive X-rays can give pediatric dentistry professionals clues as to the cause. 

Oral care tips for parents 

Parents may also benefit from taking an infant in for a cleaning once baby teeth appear, as learning tips for in-home dental care can ensure that baby's teeth remain healthy in between cleanings. Tips for curbing bottle, thumbsucking, and pacifier habits can help parents support the healthy formation of teeth so they do not change alignment due to these behaviors. 


When a baby's teeth first come in, proper cleaning and monitoring can help to set in place a lifetime of good oral health and positive habits. Regular pediatric dentistry exams, along with learning tips for in-home cleaning and brushing, can protect babies' teeth well into toddlerhood and beyond. 

Request an appointment here: or call Dennis R. Campbell, DDS at (828) 417-3828 for an appointment in our Asheville office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Pediatric Dentist in Asheville, NC.

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