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Baby Teeth Care Basics

It's never too early to start taking good care of your baby's teeth. Here are some baby teeth care basics:

- Prevent early childhood caries, also known as baby bottle tooth decay, by making sure baby doesn't sleep with a bottle containing any sugary liquids -- even breast milk. And never give your child a pacifier that's been dipped into anything sweet.

- Start brushing baby teeth as soon as the first tooth appears. Routine baby dental care should also include massaging the gums with a clean gauze pad. When all teeth have erupted, floss at least once a day to help prevent the buildup of dental plaque.

- Wean your baby off thumb-sucking if he or she is still doing so by age four. Otherwise, it can cause overcrowded or crooked teeth.

- Consider a combination of fluoride treatment and dental sealants, thin plastic coatings applied on baby molars to keep dental plaque from accumulating. Talk to your dentist before giving your child any fluoride dental treatment and have your child use only un-fluoridated toothpaste until two years of age.

- Take your child to the dentist after the first tooth arrives or by age one. Regular dental visits combined with daily baby teeth care can help give your baby a good head start on the road to dental health.


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