How to Care for Your Infant’s Teeth

Although your baby won’t be born with visible teeth, it won’t be long before you’ll see their pearly whites begin to emerge! Baby teeth pave the way for adult teeth to come in, allowing each tooth to have its place. Although baby teeth will be lost over the course of their childhood, your child’s primary teeth are essential to having healthy adult teeth.

So how can you properly care for your infant’s teeth to ensure they have a healthy smile? Here’s what you can do throughout each stage of their teething process!

Before Teeth Emerge

Your baby won’t have teeth for about the first six months of his or her life. However, you can still clean your baby’s mouth after every feeding by wiping their gums with a clean cloth, or, alternatively, a piece of gauze.

Some parents choose to wait until the first tooth appears to begin cleaning their infant’s mouth [1]. However, cleaning your child’s oral cavity after feedings now will get you in the habit of taking care of their teeth later on!

Once Baby Teeth Emerge

Your child will get their first tooth around the age of six months, although every baby is different. Some children will get their first tooth as early as the age of two to four months, while others will get their first tooth later, around the age of one year.

Once your child’s first tooth appears, you should begin brushing it, using a very small amount of toothpaste, no bigger than a smear or a grain of rice [2]. Use a toothbrush with softer bristles and be gentle when brushing your baby’s tiny tooth!

When Your Baby Has Two Teeth That Touch

When that second tooth emerges and your child now has two teeth that touch together, you can begin flossing. The first teeth to emerge are usually the lower central incisors, which come in at the center of the front lower jaw.

Gently floss between your baby’s teeth forming floss into a “C” shape around each tooth, and be careful not to force floss in between the teeth at risk of hurting the gumline. Flossing will help remove plaque from between the teeth to prevent tooth decay and gum disease!

When Should Your Baby Have Their First Checkup?

Don’t wait until your child is older to take them to the dentist. When they get their first tooth, around the age of six months or one year old, you should schedule a dental appointment for your baby.

Some parents choose to wait a few months after the first tooth erupts [3]. As long as you get your child in to see the dentist around the age of one year, you can ensure your baby’s teeth are coming in properly and that they’re healthy.

Your child’s baby teeth are going to be important not just for their adult teeth, but also for their self-confidence as they grow up. By caring for your infant’s teeth now, you can help them have a healthy smile later on!

Sources:
1. https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/aap-press-room-media-
center/Pages/Baby-Tooth-Care.aspx
2. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/b/baby-teeth
3. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/10965-your-childs-first-dental-visit

Summary
How to Care for Your Infant’s Teeth
Article Name
How to Care for Your Infant’s Teeth
Description
How can you properly care for your infant’s teeth to ensure they have a healthy smile? Here’s what you can do throughout each stage of their teething process!
Author
Centreville Dental Wellness Center