Infant and Child Hygiene

Question: How should I be caring for my baby’s teeth?

Answer:  As soon as teeth appear in a baby’s mouth, they are immediately at risk for developing tooth decay. That is why it is so important to establish good oral hygiene habits for your baby. Even before teeth appear, you should use a warm, clean cloth to wipe away food and bacteria from your child’s gums, cheeks, and tongue at least once each day. As soon as the first tooth appears, it should be brushed or wiped clean with a damp cloth twice a day. When the first tooth comes in, it is also time to schedule your child’s first check-up with a dentist. I encourage my patients with new babies to bring them in for their first exam no later than the first birthday. Developing good oral hygiene habits for your child at this early age will lead to a lifetime of healthy teeth.