Seeing your baby's first teeth come through is a heartwarming moment. For them, it's the beginning of a lifetime of good oral hygiene, and as their parent, you'll take the lead for a few years. With the right advice, you can get them off to a good start.

Now's the Time to Start Brushing

While the thought of taking a toothbrush to your baby's mouth may seem odd, it's the right thing to do. Find a toothpaste that is designed for babies and use a soft baby toothbrush. Brush their teeth just before bedtime and at another time during the day that fits in with your routine. It's okay to not reach the full two minutes when brushing your baby's teeth. And in many ways, that isn't feasible as babies aren't likely to let you brush for that long. But by doing a little bit of brushing, you're kickstarting their oral health and getting them used to the sensation of having their teeth brushed.

It's a Good Time to See a Dentist

The earlier you get your baby used to seeing the dentist, the better. Taking them to your usual family dentist means they'll adapt to the environment. If it becomes a key part of their routine as they grow up, they'll feel less anxious about it during their formative years. It also gives your dentist a chance to spot potential growth problems at an early stage. While they may not need to introduce interventions when your baby is very young, it does give them a chance to plan them and keep you in the loop.

Avoiding Sugar Exposure Is Wise

Whether you're breast or bottle feeding, you need to do what you can to avoid sugar exposure. If you are bottle-feeding, avoid propping the bottle while you feed your baby. This can cause the lactose in the milk to pool around their teeth, which essentially bathes them in sugar. Additionally, never add sugary drinks to their bottles. This can also expose their teeth to too much sugar. Wherever possible, avoid introducing them to sugary treats too early and try substituting them for fruit instead. While fruit isn't free from sugar, it has a better nutritional value and isn't as harmful to oral health.

If you have any concerns about your baby's teeth, always speak with your dentist. If they're unable to provide you with advice over the phone, they can always call you into their office to perform an examination.