Infant Oral Health Care
On average, your infant receives his/her first tooth between 6 months to 1 year. It is important to brush your infant’s teeth and gums. You may use a toothette, washcloth when no teeth are present and an infant toothbrush after he/she has teeth. It is recommended that you use infant toothpaste without fluoride because infants do not know how to spit. It is recommended that the mouth be cleaned after each feeding. This can be done with a wet washcloth or gauze if you are not at home.
Most importantly, children should not be nursed to sleep or put to bed with a bottle of milk, formula, juice, or other sweetened liquid. There is evidence to show that children who are put to bed with the bottle are more likely to develop cavities (especially on the top front teeth) than children who are not put to bed with a bottle. If your infant cannot fall asleep without the bottle, it is better for him/her to sleep with only water in the bottle. Infants should be weaned from the bottle and/or nursing at 1 year of age and begin seeing a pediatric dentist to establish proper habits to allow for a healthy, happy smile for life.