Caring For Your Baby’s Teeth
Although your baby may not make his first trip to the dentist until he is around age 1, or when six to eight teeth are in place, there are plenty of things you can do in the year leading up to this appointment to promote a healthy smile.
Even before your baby’s first tooth peeks out, it’s a good idea to cleanse his mouth and gums each day with a damp washcloth or gauze. Once you see a tooth, Nemours recommends brushing it each day with an infant-sized toothbrush and water. Feeding times matter for infant dental health, too. Don’t let your baby fall asleep with a bottle, because the milk or juice can pool in his mouth, causing tooth decay. Aim to feed during the day, and don’t allow your tot to carry a bottle around even once he gets old. This can cause teeth to grow in out of line.
By the time all the baby teeth have grown in, aim to brush them twice a day. Fluoridated toothpaste is OK to start using once your child is able to spit it out – typically around age 3. It’s good to teach the importance of flossing at this time, too. Your child may get excited about flossing if he can watch you do it, and he can start as soon as his teeth start to touch.