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Dr. Adam Vitelli at Vitelli Comprehensive Dentistry wants to remind parents that it is never too early to start taking care of your baby’s teeth. When your newborn smiles at you, you don’t notice his teeth. But believe or not, he does have teeth, you just can’t see them yet. Even though they haven’t come in, all twenty of his primary teeth are there.

It’s important that you start oral care during the first few days after your baby is born. You should wipe your baby’s gums with a clean washcloth. That will keep the plaque from building up on his gums. After about 6 months, his first teeth should start to emerge. At that point, it’s time to switch from the washcloth to a child-sized toothbrush. Start with a toothpaste designed for infants. After the age of two, and when your child knows not to swallow toothpaste, it’s time to switch to a toothpaste containing fluoride.

Thumb-sucking is normal and pacifiers are fine, but don’t coat the pacifier with sugar or honey. In fact, keeping sugar out of your baby’s diet as much as possible will help ensure his teeth stay healthy. Other things you can do is to limit acidic foods and juices, and give your baby water more water as opposed to juice or formula. Its also important that new parents know how to prevent baby bottle tooth decay. This is most often caused by putting your baby to bed at night with a bottle that contains sugary drinks. To avoid decay, make sure that your baby’s teeth are clean, and that he has finished his bottle before you put him to bed.

Finally, make an appointment to see us in Germantown, Maryland by calling 301-972-1400 after your baby’s first tooth has appeared.