Q: How do I care for those first baby teeth?
A: Caring for a baby’s teeth is a very important step to promoting good health and limiting cavity-causing bacteria. When that first tooth appears, you can introduce baby-safe tooth- paste. Take a small amount of toothpaste, and smear it on the tooth to clean it and coat it with an appropriate amount of fluoride.
As a baby continues teething, use a soft tooth- brush and small amount of toothpaste to brush your baby’s teeth. How much toothpaste? When teeth first emerge, you should use just a smear, working your way up to a pea-sized amount by age 3.
In addition to brushing your baby’s teeth, it’s impor- tant to find a “dental home” for your baby. Once you’ve found the right dentist for your child, schedule an appointment before her first birthday. By establishing the relationship early, your dental team will be able to identify any other risk factors that could impact your child’s health and provide guidance to help you keep her grin healthy.
—Rob Compton, DDS, senior vice president and chief dental officer at DentaQuest and President of the DentaQuest Institute