The best way to clean baby teeth
Dental care for your baby can start before their first tooth emerges, which generally tends to happen when they are around 6-8 months old.
From when they are about 3 months old, you can gently wipe your baby’s gums using a damp, clean face washer or gauze twice a day. This helps your baby get ready for brushing when the first tooth appears.
When they get their first tooth at around 6 months, you can try to introduce a soft toothbrush and a flouride-free toothpaste. However, you may find at this age they will not be welcoming to receiving it.
- Position your baby so you can see their mouth and they feel secure. It might help to sit on a bed or the floor with your baby lying down so that their head is on your lap.
- Cup your baby’s chin in your hands, with their head resting against your body.
- Lift your baby’s lip to clean teeth using soft, circular motions.
- Make sure you spend time on the front and back of each tooth and also the gum line.
Teeth cleaning alone isn’t a guarantee against tooth decay. Diet and the way you feed your baby are also important.
Give babies only breastmilk or formula until you introduce solids at around 6 months. Breastfed and formula-fed babies older than 6 months can also have small amounts of water. Avoid giving your baby sugary drinks. Once you introduce solids, also avoid giving your baby foods high in sugar.
Don’t put your baby to bed with a bottle. When your baby is asleep, there’s less saliva in the mouth to protect teeth. If your baby falls asleep with a bottle, milk might slowly drip into your baby’s mouth and soak teeth. This puts your baby at risk of tooth decay. Also note that putting your baby to sleep with a bottle is a choking risk.