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Tiny newborn babies may not have teeth yet, but that doesn’t mean their oral care isn’t important. Though babies don’t generally get their first teeth until they’re four to six months old, it’s still important to keep their gums and tongue clean. As your baby ages, you can keep their mouth clean while they get used to the feeling of gentle oral care.

A toothbrush, toothpaste, or tongue scraper are unnecessary for the dental care of a newborn since their mouths are still small and their teeth unerupted. Instead, you can keep baby’s mouth clean with a small piece of wet gauze, or a soft, wet washcloth. This cleaning should help keep your baby’s mouth healthy, but should also stimulate their tongue and gums to prepare them for brushing as they get older.

To wash their mouth, hold your baby on your lap with their head in your arms. Wrap the wet gauze or cloth around your index finger, and gently open their mouth. Using tight, circular motions, softly massage baby’s gums to remove any food particles and milk. Wash over baby’s tongue, too, careful not to push your finger down their throat. Once their mouth is clean, be sure to either throw the gauze in the trash or wash the washcloth before its next use.

Baby oral care shouldn’t be overlooked, but you can easily keep your baby’s mouth clean by following these simple instructions. If you have any questions or concerns about your baby’s teeth or gums as they grow, please call our office, Texas Kids Dental, to schedule an appointment with our dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Erickson. Our El Paso, Texas, office can be reached at 915-858-6868.