Oral health care is important even before your baby has teeth. Daily oral care for an infant consists of wiping the gums with a wet washcloth. Around the age of 6 months, your baby’s first teeth will erupt. The first teeth to erupt are the lower central incisors. Once your baby has teeth it is time to introduce a finger toothbrush with training toothpaste to the daily oral health care routine. The best time to clean your baby’s teeth is as close to bedtime as possible.
Teething is usually accompanied by varying levels of discomfort and increased drooling. Try to avoid using topical relief products such as Orajel, and instead use cold teethers and Tylenol to relieve pain.
The best time to bring your baby to the dentist is 6 months after the first teeth erupt. This is recommended by both the American Academy of Pediatrics (Medicine) and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Although there are not many teeth in the mouth, establishing a “dental home” and reinforcing good oral health care early is very important for the overall healthy of your baby. Appointments at this age will be geared towards a quick but efficient visit. We will likely use a special “lap pad” for the best view of the mouth. In general we won’t take x-rays unless there is a specific concern.