Baby Teeth and Mouth Care
There's so much to caring for your baby. From head to toe, your baby is counting on you to help keep them healthy. Caring for your baby's mouth from the earliest months is important. Even though their first teeth are not permanent, caring for them is important in both maintaining good health, as well as setting the foundation for long-term good oral hygiene.
Even though you can't see any teeth, do you know that your baby's first set of teeth are nearly formed at birth? It's true. These teeth are hiding below the gums.
As a young infant – even without teeth – you can help support a healthy mouth and teeth. In order to promote good oral health, simply use a wet washcloth to gently clean inside your baby's mouth. As a new experience to your baby, be sure to talk to them about what you are doing and use a gentle touch. Experts recommend cleaning your baby's mouth at least twice a day.
Most children get their first tooth around the age of seven months. As you see this first tooth come through, continue to use a warm, wet washcloth to clean your baby's mouth, as well as their new addition. There is no need for toothpaste. In fact, the use of toothpaste is not recommended for a toddler under the age of two years.
With your child's first tooth, and perhaps additional teeth appearing, it is a great time to introduce the use of a soft-bristled, child-sized toothbrush. Continue using warm water only – no toothpaste – to clean your baby's teeth.
Additionally, once you see the appearance of two teeth, side-by-side, you may begin using floss to gently clean between them. Remember, this is all new to your child. It may be easier said than done!
And when should you head to the dentist? Opinions vary greatly from the first visit to a pediatric dentist at age 1 to anywhere around age 3.
The best oral care for your baby begins with you.