Not Just Brushing: 10 Ways to Start Caring for Baby Teeth


The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offers some tips. For taking care of those little teeth, starting before the first one arrives.”There are habits you can start now to keep your baby’s teeth healthy,” said Dr. David Kroll in baby an academy news release.

And when that first tooth appears, your pediatrician can keep it healthy, too.”Even before your baby cuts his first tooth, start with a routine that includes wiping the gums with a clean. Damp washcloth or gauze pad after each feeding, the AAP advises.

Never put your to bed with a bottle or give your baby a bottle full of sugary drinks. Do not soak your baby’s pacifier in anything sweet like sugar or honey.

Take your child baby to the dentist by their first birthday or within six months of their first tooth.

Once that first tooth erupts, start using fluoride toothpaste. Use a small spot the size of a grain of rice until age 3.

Graduate to a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste when you turn 3. Teach your child to spit without washing.

Fluoride is a safe and useful cavity-fighting ingredient, says the AAP. It is a natural mineral that baby has been added to drinking water in some areas since 1945.

Not Just Brushing: 10 Ways to Start Caring for Baby Teeth

Ask your doctor if you should get a prescription for fluoride drops or chewable tablets for your child if you use. A private well or your community water supply does not have fluoride.

Parents should help or supervise brushing teeth until about 10 years of age.

Your pediatrician may perform an oral health check from 6 months along with the application of fluoride varnish. The AAP recommends a fluoride varnish every six months until age 5. Some children may need it more often.

All public and private health insurance plans should fully baby cover this preventive service.

Your child should start using a cup when they reach 1 year of age. Avoid sugary drinks. Fruit juices, sodas and sugary drinks are not good for young teeth. Children under 1 should not consume juice at all, the AAP advises. Limit older children to 4 ounces per day — half-water/half-juice mixed together.

More information

The US Centers for baby Disease Control and Prevention has more on children’s oral health.

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics, news release, January 31, 2023

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