Baby teeth begin to emerge through the gums between 6 and 9 months of age. These teeth help your child eat, speak, and allow the adult teeth come in straight.
As soon as the teeth emerge they are at risk of developing decay, just like adults. For this reason, it is recommended that parents clean their baby’s teeth following every feeding. This includes after breast or bottle feedings. Otherwise the baby teeth may develop nursing bottle decay.
At first all a parent needs is a wet facecloth to wipe the gums and teeth. Once the infant has grown the parent can introduce a wet toothbrush. This prepares the baby early for what should become a lifelong habit.
Your baby’s first visit to the dentist should occur by the age of one year, or when the first teeth appear.
No toothpaste is needed at this age. Fluoridation of drinking water is still the most economical means of getting the needed protection for developing teeth.