Baby Teeth Are Important

Plaque grows in the baby’s mouth even before the first tooth erupts and it is important to start good hygiene habits early. Baby teeth are important for eating, talking, smiling, and holding a 
place for adult teeth. Your baby’s first visit to the dentist should occur 
at the age of one year, or when the first teeth 
appear

Help your child learn good dental habits

  • Wipe your baby’s gums morning and night (or more) 
with a clean washcloth
  • If baby falls asleep while feeding, gently remove the 
nipple before placing baby to sleep in the crib on its 
back
  • If your baby sleeps with a bottle, only use water
  • As soon as your baby’s teeth appear, brush them at 
least twice a day with a small, soft toothbrush with 
tap water only (no toothpaste)
  • Continue to help your child brush until the age of 8
  • Once a month, lift your baby’s top lip to check for 
cavities. Look at the front and back of the top four 
teeth, especially around the gum line. If you see 
white or brown spots, take your baby to the dentist
  • Give your baby water to drink in a plastic cup when he or she can sit up alone
  • Wean your baby from the bottle by 9 to 12 months
  • A sippy cup should only be used for water
  • Never dip a soother in syrup, honey, or other 
sweeteners before giving it to your baby. This can 
cause cavities
  • Do not put your baby’s soother or spoon in your 
mouth; this will pass bacteria that cause cavities
  • Begin flossing once a day when your child has teeth 
that are touching
  • At 3 years of age, start using fluoride toothpaste. 
Use a small, soft toothbrush with a very small 
amount of toothpaste to brush your child’s teeth. 
Make sure your child does not swallow the 
toothpaste

Help your child learn good eating habits

  • Give your child healthy foods and snacks like 
fruits, vegetables, cheese and white milk Offer your child tap water for thirst between meals
  • Limit juice to special occasions and only serve it at 
mealtime. Even natural sugar causes cavities
  • Limit sweets and drinks to special occasions, and 
brush your child’s teeth after eating sugary or sticky 
foods

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