You should begin cleaning your baby’s mouth even before the teeth appear.
Here is how the Canadian Dental Association recommends to do it:
- Lie your baby in a comfortable place.
- Make sure you can see into your baby’s mouth.
- Use a soft baby brush or wrap your finger in a clean, damp washcloth. Then, brush or wipe your baby’s gums and teeth.
- Do not use toothpaste until your child has teeth.
“Children under 3 years of age should have their teeth brushed by an adult. The use of fluoridated toothpaste in this age group is determined by the level of risk. Parents should consult a health professional to determine whether a child up to 3 years of age is at risk of developing tooth decay. If such a risk exists, the child’s teeth should be brushed by an adult using a minimal amount (a portion the size of a grain of rice) of fluoridated toothpaste. Use of fluoridated toothpaste in a small amount has been determined to achieve a balance between the benefits of fluoride and the risk of developing fluorosis. If the child is considered to be at low risk, the teeth should be brushed by an adult using a toothbrush moistened only with water.
Children from 3 to 6 years of age should be assisted by an adult in brushing their teeth. Only a small amount (a portion the size of a green pea) of fluoridated toothpaste should be used.”