Caring for Your Baby’s Teeth: A Guide to Infant Oral Hygiene

Caring for Your Baby’s Teeth: A Guide to Infant Oral Hygiene

February 16, 2023 / in / by Fort Worth Children's Dentistry
infant dental care

Did you know that baby teeth form in the jaws before birth? Dental care for children’s teeth and gums should start early, even before their first tooth emerges.

Importance of Healthy Baby Teeth


It is essential to care for your child’s baby teeth, as they serve several vital purposes. These tiny pearly whites aid in the following:

  • Shaping the facial structure

  • Preserving spaces for the eventual emergence of adult teeth

  • Improving speech clarity

  • Facilitating proper chewing and digestion

Typically, the eruption of the initial baby tooth occurs around six months. The incisors, the front teeth, tend to shed away between six and seven years. The molars used for chewing remain until the child reaches the age of 10 to 12 years.

Tooth Decay in Children


Tooth decay, or cavities, is a condition that arises from poor dental hygiene. It results from the buildup of plaque, a layer of harmful bacteria that forms on the teeth. When your child consumes food or medication containing sugar, the bacteria produce acids that erode the teeth and lead to cavities. Notably, baby teeth are more vulnerable to cavities than adult teeth.

Cavities can have severe impacts, such as harming permanent teeth yet to erupt. That can cause pain and lead to infections spreading throughout the body. If left untreated, cavities can result in costly dental treatments or emergency care and can even result in missed school or daycare days.

How to Care for Your Little One’s Teeth


Adopting the proper preventive measures can effectively combat the formation of cavities. One simple step is the use of fluoride varnish, which has the potential to significantly decrease the incidence of cavities in baby teeth, boasting a 33% reduction rate. Additionally, children residing in places with fluoridated tap water have a lesser chance of developing cavities than those living in areas without fluoride.

Maintaining a daily oral hygiene routine, including brushing with fluoride toothpaste, is another way to reduce the risk of cavities. Dental sealants provide another layer of protection and are a highly effective option. With application to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, dental sealants can lower the likelihood of cavity formation by an impressive 80%.

Oral Hygiene for Babies


To safeguard your baby from developing cavities, establish a routine of gently wiping their gums with a fresh cloth in the morning after feeding and before bedtime. That will help remove bacteria and sugar that can cause cavities.

As their teeth come in, brush them twice daily with a soft, small-bristled toothbrush using just water. Book an appointment with the dentist by your baby’s first birthday to catch any potential problems early. Consider talking to your dentist about using fluoride varnish or toothpaste for your baby’s teeth after getting their professional opinion.

For Children


To maintain good dental hygiene for your little one, dental experts recommend brushing their teeth twice a day using fluoride toothpaste. Until they can brush effectively on their own, provide assistance and supervision.

For kids under six, monitor their brushing to ensure they use the correct amount of toothpaste and spit it out after brushing. Ask your dentist about dental sealants when appropriate and encourage drinking fluoridated tap water.

Neglecting the care of baby teeth can have severe consequences for their oral health later in life. So, it is essential to prioritize dental hygiene from the get-go.

For more on infant oral hygiene, visit Fort Worth Children’s Dentistry at our Fort Worth, Texas, office. Call 817-646-2200 to schedule an appointment today.