1. If your baby goes to sleep with a bottle, it should contain only water.
2. If your baby uses a pacifier, it should never be dipped in honey or sugar water.
3. If the pacifier falls on the floor, don’t “clean” it by putting it into your mouth; doing so puts your oral bacteria into your baby’s mouth.
4. For the same reason, don’t lick a spoon to “test” the temperature or flavor of food and then put the spoon into your child’s mouth.
5. Gently massage your infant’s gums after each feeding with a moist gauze square or washcloth wrapped around your finger.
6. Schedule your first pediatric dentist visit when your child is between 6 and 12 months old.
7. As soon as your baby has that first tooth, daily brushing is a must to keep plaque at bay. A soft child’s toothbrush and plain water does the trick. Do the best you can; it’s normal for your baby to want to play with the toothbrush and/or to express dissatisfaction when you try to brush his or her teeth.
8. While you don’t want to wean from breast or bottle too soon (sucking aids in the development of your baby’s facial muscles), begin to switch your child from the bottle to a sippy cup at approximately one year of age.
9. Avoid giving your children sugary drinks and foods. When they do drink or eat them, brush as soon as possible or, at a minimum, have your child rinse his or her mouth with a little water.