Use a soft cloth to clean your baby's gums. Start a few days after birth, and do this until the first teeth come in.
When your child's teeth start to come in, you can start cleaning them. Use a soft toothbrush and a very small amount of toothpaste. Flossing can begin when teeth start to touch each other.
Daily cleaning removes plaque, a sticky film of bacteria on the teeth. If plaque isn't removed, it can build up and harden into tartar. The bacteria in plaque and tartar use sugars in food to make acids. These acids can cause gum disease and tooth decay, like small holes (cavities).
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your dentist or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
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Current as of: May 12, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & A. Evan Eyler, MD, MPH - Family Medicine, Psychiatry
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