Caring for gums
Begin building good oral health habits at birth by cleaning your baby’s gums with a soft infant toothbrush or a cloth and water after breast- or bottle-feeding.
From six months to age 3, your child may have tender gums when teeth erupt. Many children like a clean teething ring, cool spoon or a cold wet washcloth. Your baby’s first tooth usually appears around seven months of age. This is when you should begin brushing your baby’s teeth with a toothbrush and toothpaste.
Brushing and Flossing
As soon as the teeth begin to appear, start brushing twice daily using fluoridated toothpaste and a soft, age-appropriate sized toothbrush. Use a “smear” of toothpaste for a child less than 2 years of age. For the 2-5 year old, dispense a “pea size” amount and perform or assist your child’s tooth brushing. Children should spit out and not swallow excess toothpaste after brushing. Flossing is recommended once a day when the child’s teeth are touching or are in contact with each other.
Set a good example by letting your child see you brush and floss your teeth. Starting these daily habits at a young age will help to prevent tooth decay.