Caring for Your Infant's Mouth

Even though your baby doesn't have teeth yet you should clean his or her mouth. As soon as your baby is born, it is important to clean his or her gums by rubbing a clean, damp cloth over the gums twice a day. This will not only get rid of bacteria but will also help your baby get used to the cleaning process so that the introduction to the toothbrush will go smoothly. Although there may be a little fussing at first, your infant will get used to having his or her mouth cleaned like other parts of the body. It is important to set a routine like brushing first thing in the morning and just before going to bed.

You can continue using cloth or switch to a soft-bristled, infant-sized toothbrush after teeth first come into the mouth. By the time the molars (back teeth) first appear around age 1 (on average), it is best to use a toothbrush all the time. Until the age of 3 it is best to use half a pea amount of non fluoridated toothpaste as young children tend to swallow the paste. After 3 one can shift to a fluoridated toothpaste. Encourage your child to spit out the toothpaste.
Make teeth brushing a fun routine that your children will look forward to. Teaching your children good oral hygiene from the start will contribute to their health and well-being throughout their adult lives.


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