Did you know babies’ teeth are at risk for decay as soon as they appear? Your baby should begin developing teeth at around 6 months and typically babies get tooth decay in the upper front teeth. This decay can be prevented to ensure your child has a full set of 20 baby teeth by age 3.
Clean your baby’s gums with a clean, moist gauze pad or washcloth before teeth appear. When teeth do erupt, clean with a fluoride toothpaste—use no more than a smear the size of a grain of rice! After your child turns 3, you can brush twice a day with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Make sure they don’t swallow the toothpaste! Children need to be supervised during brushing to make sure they’re doing a proper job.
The ADA recommends that you visit a dentist as soon as the first tooth makes its appearance. If you want to wait, make sure you see a dentist before your child’s first birthday. Your dentist will look for injuries and cavities, check if your child is at risk of tooth decay, and clean your child’s teeth properly. You can also discuss teething and thumb-sucking habits with your dentist.