Oral Care for Infants & Toddlers

Caring for Your Baby’s Teeth

Taking good care of baby’s first teeth is an important step in the health of permanent teeth.1,3 Here are some key dental care tips:

  • Don't let your child fall asleep while sucking a bottle that contains milk, formula, or sweet fluids.3 If you let sugary fluids sit in the baby’s mouth, you increase the likelihood of tooth decay.1,3

  • Limit sugary beverages. Unsweetened fruit juices, teas, and water are best, according to the American Academy of General Dentistry.At bedtime, only offer water.

  • Before teeth come in, clean gums after feedings, using a damp washcloth.2,3

  • Once teeth erupt, brush with water and a soft toothbrush every day.2,3By age 2, or by the time your child can spit, use a pea-sized dab of fluoride toothpaste.2,3

  • Take your child for a first dental visit within six months of the first tooth eruption, and no later than the first birthday.2,3,4



1 “How Do I Care for My Child’s Baby Teeth?” Academy of General Dentistry. February 2007. www.agd.org/support/articles/?ArtID=1173. Accessed 2010.

2 “Is My Child at Risk for Early Childhood Tooth Decay?” Academy of General Dentistry. February 2007. www.agd.org/support/articles/?ArtID=1175. Accessed 2010.

3 “Tooth Eruption: The Primary Teeth.” Journal of the American Dental Association. November 2005, vol. 136, p. 1619. Accessed 2010.

4 “Baby Teeth.” American Dental Association. Accessed 2010.