Oral health starts before a baby’s first tooth comes in. Daily habits can support a child’s oral health and build toward a healthy future.
Babies do not have cavity-causing bacteria when they’re born. Avoid passing the bacteria to your child by not sharing a spoon or cleaning a pacifier with your mouth.
Before your baby has teeth, gently wipe their gums twice a day with a clean, wet washcloth. Keep up with this routine as teeth start to come in. This will help to keep the teeth strong and healthy.
Babies usually get their lower teeth after eight months. The upper teeth come in at about 10 months. When the first teeth show, clean them by adding a small amount of the toothpaste with fluoride to a clean, wet washcloth. Then wipe each tooth.
Later, as more teeth come in, gently brush your baby’s teeth with a soft toothbrush and a small amount of toothpaste with fluoride.
It’s okay to use just a dab of toothpaste at first. Slowly work up to a pea-sized amount of toothpaste by your child’s third birthday.
Another way to protect your baby’s gums and teeth is to choose a dental home - a dentist office to get care now and into the future. Make an appointment at your chosen dental home before your child is one year old.
The team at the dental home will keep an eye on possible risks to future health and provide guidance to help your family healthy. Starting this relationship early helps your baby get comfortable with the dentist and in doctors’ offices overall.
The newsletter designed for anyone who wants to improve oral health for themselves, their families, customers or communities.