Begin cleaning the baby’s mouth with a clean damp washcloth. Avoid putting your baby to bed with a bottle, sippee cup or while breastfeeding. This habit may cause cavities when your baby has teeth especially if milk, formula, juice or other sweetened liquid is used. Only water should be put in a bottle or cup if your child cannot fall asleep without it. While your baby is breastfeeding, wipe the teeth with a damp washcloth as soon as he or she falls asleep and stops sucking. Sharing items such as spoons, pacifiers, toothbrushes and toys can spread cavity-causing germs between caregiver and baby and between babies themselves.
Start a habit of brushing twice a day when the first tooth comes in. Use soft-bristled toothbrushes designed for babies with water or a very small amount of non-fluoridated toothpaste. Fluoride containing toothpaste can be used when your child can spit. Consult your pediatrician or pediatric dentist about other sources of fluoride supplementation for your child.
It is normal for a baby to cry while tooth brushing. Babies also cry when they are bathed, dressed or changed. Be calm and methodical while continuing to give proper care to your child’s teeth.
With time he/she will appreciate your gentle attention to his/her teeth and will allow you to clean without protest.