All infants should have a daily oral cleaning. Using a soft, damp cloth, gently wipe your baby’s gums to remove any lingering formula or milk and minimize bacteria buildup.
Teeth begin to erupt through the gums at about 6 months of age and continue to gradually appear until about age 3. As soon as teeth begin to emerge from the gums, you should begin using a soft-bristle baby toothbrush to clean your infant’s teeth. Use a tiny smear of child-safe toothpaste for children under the age of 2. After age 2, use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste to clean their teeth. You should clean your child’s teeth at least twice a day, preferably three times per day. We recommend that you brush and floss your child’s teeth for them until about age 7, when their motor skills will have developed enough for them to brush on their own.
As your child develops teeth, you should avoid giving them a bottle filled with juice or other sweetened liquids when they go to bed. If your child insists on having a bottle, fill it only with water. This will help to reduce the risk of tooth decay.
Your baby’s mouth may also become sore while teething. You can help them feel more comfortable by providing a chilled teething ring and gently wiping their gums with a cold washcloth before and after meals.
When your child’s teeth begin to erupt, schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist for your child’s first “well-baby” appointment. Although there is a very small chance that they have developed any tooth decay, this gives the pedodontist an opportunity to provide you with useful information on caring for the oral health of your child. Pediatric dentists are specially trained to provide dental care for infants and young children to ensure that they remain healthy and develop correctly.
If you have any questions about early infant oral care, please contact our office.