Infant Oral Health Care

Even though most babies begin getting teeth around six months of age, their dental care is very important from the beginning. Soon after birth it is important to make cleaning the gums part of the daily routine. Although dentists recommend not using a toothbrush until the baby teeth emerge, it is important to wipe down the gums with a damp cloth in the morning and after last feeding in the evening. Adding this into your daily schedule can help prevent baby bottle tooth decay also called “early childhood dental caries”, that can happen due to the frequent exposure to sugars found in milk and formulas.

During your baby’s first year, baby teeth will begin to emerge in the mouth and caring for their teeth is very important to their dental health then and into their future. Here are a few tips from Colgate to help clean your baby’s mouth.

Tips to clean your baby’s mouth:

+ Lay your infant in your lap. The head should be close to your chest so you can look down directly into your child’s mouth.

+ Clean the gums and the teeth — when they arrive — by rubbing a clean, damp, wash cloth along the baby’s upper and lower gums. You can also use terry cloth finger cots, which fit over the finger and are made for this purpose.

+ Follow these steps at least twice a day — once after breakfast, and once after the last feeding of the day.

+ When the teeth begin to erupt, start brushing them at least two to three times a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and water. Toothpaste is not recommended until a child reaches age two. At that time, supervise brushing to ensure that your child does not swallow any toothpaste. (Colgate)