Baby Teeth are Important

Dental health for children from birth to 5 years old

Plaque grows in the baby’s mouth even before the first tooth erupts and it is important to start good hygiene habits early. Baby teeth are important for eathing, talking, smiling, and holding a place for adult teeth.

Help your child learn good dental habits

  • Wipe your baby’s gums morning and night with a clean washcloth.
  • If baby falls asleep while feeding, gently remove the nipple before placing baby to sleep in the crib on its back
  • If your baby sleeps with a bottle, only use water
  • As soon as your baby’s teeth appear, brush them at least two times a day with a small soft toothbrush with tap water only (no toothpaste)
  • Continue to help your child to brush until 8 years old
  • Once a month, lift your baby’s top lip to check for cavities. Look at the front and back of the top four teeth, especially around the gum line. If you see white or brown spots, take your baby to the dentist. Your baby’s first visit to the dentist should be at the age of 1 year old.
  • Use a sippy cup only for water
  • Bacteria from your mouth can cause bacteria in your baby’s mouth when sharing food or toothbrushes
  • At three years old, start using fluoride toothpaste
  • Give your child a selection of healthy foods and snack such as fruits, vegetables, cheese and white milk
  • Limit fruit juice and sweets for special occasions only.

    Need more information? Talk to your dentist or call the Ottawa Public Health Information Line at 613-580-6744.