Good oral habits start young, so it is never too early to practice good oral hygiene habits with your child. You can start by wiping their gums with a soft, wet baby washcloth after feedings until teeth start to erupt. This habit helps remove any milk residue, gets the child used to you being in their mouth, and can help with teething pain.
Once the child has a tooth erupt (usually around six months of age), you can continue with a washcloth or start using a finger brush or infant toothbrush. Ideally, you want to brush your child’s teeth at least every night after their last meal. You don’t need to use toothpaste at this time, although there are particular kinds available specifically for children this age. Ask Dr. Christina about those if you are interested.
For infants who fall asleep nursing or with a milk bottle, try to at least brush their teeth and gums well before their last feeding and again once they wake up.
Be sure to bring your child to the dentist for his or her first appointment right around their first birthday. Dr. Christina can go over more specifics on good home oral care at this time.