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Clean Pearly Whites

How to Care for Your Baby’s New Teeth

According to the Mayo Clinic, you should run a clean, damp washcloth over your baby’s gums every day, even before the first tooth arrives. So if you’re not doing it already, now’s a great time to start. The washcloth can keep bacteria from building up in your baby’s mouth. When your baby’s first teeth appear, switch to a small, soft-bristled toothbrush. There’s no need to use toothpaste. Water is all you need until your child “learns to spit at about age 2.”

It’s also time to think about regular dental checkups. The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend scheduling a child’s first dental visit after the first tooth erupts and no later than his first birthday. Your baby’s teeth and gums will also be examined at “well-baby checkups.” Remember, regular childhood dental care helps set the stage for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

Watercolor illustration of a smiling, anthropomorphic tooth with shining stars next to it and a large pink toothbrush