Infant Oral Health Care
Good oral hygiene begins before your baby's first tooth erupts. Here are a few guidelines to follow:
- Wipe your infant's gums with a clean washcloth, gauze or a soft infant toothbrush at least three times a day, after feedings and always before bedtime.
- Always avoid putting an infant or a toddler to bed with a bottle of milk or juice. If you must put a child to bed with a bottle, use water only.
Bottles of milk and juice given to sleeping children can cause "baby bottle decay," a condition that can develop when a child's baby teeth and gums are exposed to natural and artificial sugary fluids such as juice or milk for an extended period of time. It can result in early tooth loss.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends a child's first dental visit when the first tooth appears or no later than the child's first birthday. At that time, you are encouraged to ask questions about your baby's teeth and to learn more about good oral hygiene care for your child.