How Do I Care for My Infant's Teeth?

Good oral care starts from the beginning of your child's life. Even before his or her first teeth emerge, certain factors can affect their future appearance and health. For instance, tetracycline, a common antibiotic, can cause tooth discoloration. For this reason, they should not be used by nursing mothers or by expectant mothers in the last half of pregnancy.

Since baby teeth usually emerge around six months of age, standard oral health procedures like brushing and flossing aren't required for infants. However, infants have special oral health needs that every new parent should know about. These include guarding against baby bottle decay.

What Is Baby Bottle Decay and How Can I Prevent it?

Baby bottle decay is caused by frequent exposure, over time, to liquids containing sugars. These include milk, formula, and fruit juices. The sugary liquids pool around the teeth for long periods of time as your baby sleeps, leading to cavities that first develop in the upper and lower front teeth. For this reason, you shouldn't let your baby fall asleep with a bottle of juice or milk in his mouth. Instead, at naptime, give your child a bottle filled with water or a pacifier recommended by your dentist. If you breast-feed, avoid letting the baby nurse continuously. And after each feeding, wipe your baby's teeth and gums with a clean, damp washcloth or a gauze pad.

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Top Tips For Good Oral Care During INFANCY

Here are some easy ways to take care of your baby’s teeth and gums:

  • Before teeth have erupted, clean your baby’s gums by rubbing a clean, damp, washcloth along the baby's upper and lower gums

  • When your baby has teeth, start brushing your baby’s teeth two times a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Use a smear of fluoridated toothpaste once a day for brushing

How to care for your infant’s first teeth?

As soon as baby teeth erupt it’s important to start taking care of them. Try toothpaste formulated specially for your little ones.