Caring For Your Baby's Teeth
You can start caring for your baby's gums right away. Do not start with a toothbrush. Use a moistened washcloth or piece of guaze. Gently wipe your baby's gums at least twice a day. The best times are after feedings and before bedtime. This will wash off bacteria that can leave a sticky plaque that damages infant teeth as they erupt.
When the first baby teeth start to pop up, you can graduate to a toothbrush. Choose one with a soft brush, small head and large handle. Start with just a wet toothbrush until age 1. Then you can start using a pea sized amount of non-flourinated toothbrush. Introduce flouride toothpaste at age 2. Brush baby's teeth until he or she is old enough to brush. Supervise until your child can rinse and spit without assistance. Most children are ready to see a dentist at age 3. If you notice any spots or pits on teeth take your child to the dentist earlier.
It can take up to two years for all baby teeth to make their way through gums. Teething symptoms include drooling, swollen gums and a low grade temperature. You can use a clean teething ring or cool washcloth. Rub your baby's gums with a clean finger. Tylenol can also relieve pain.
Finally to prevent cavities only fill your baby's bottle with formula, breast milk and water. Sweet drinks like juices, soda and even milk can cause "baby bottle tooth decay". So it is especially important to brush before bedtime.