Good oral health for baby starts before their teeth start poking through their gums. After each feeding, take a damp cloth and gently wipe any residue from baby’s gums. To stop the spread of bacteria, make sure any bottles and pacifiers are clean before giving them to baby. And, when your baby starts eating solid foods, don’t give them a spoon that you have tasted from.
Babies’ teeth start coming in when they are 6-12 months old. As soon as the first tooth appears, start brushing them, and along the gum line, with a soft toothbrush and a small amount (the size of a grain of rice) of fluoride toothpaste. This will help to prevent decay, as will having baby finish their bottle before going down for a nap or the night.
Your baby should have their first “well-baby checkup” with a dentist by their first birthday. The dentist can answer any questions, check for decay and provide tips for keeping their teeth healthy as they grow up.
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SOURCES: American Dental Association; New York State Department of Health
PREPARED BY: 211
CONTENT LAST REVIEWED: November 2019