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WEBSITE OF THE STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
Kim Malsam-Rysdon, Interim Secretary of Health

Dental Do's — Birth to 6 Months

  • Baby teeth are important. Tooth decay in baby teeth can be painful and can cause health problems like infections. A clean and germ-free mouth is a healthy place for teeth to grow.
  • Good dental habits should begin before the first tooth appears. After feedings, clean your baby’s gums with a clean damp washcloth or gently brush your baby’s gums using water on a baby toothbrush with soft bristles. Remember, a clean and germ-free mouth is a healthy place for teeth to grow.
  • Put your baby to bed with hugs and love, not a bottle.  Sleeping with a bottle of formula or juice is a leading cause of cavities in young children.
  • Only put breast milk, formula or plain water in your baby’s bottle. Sweet drinks like Gatorade, Kool-Aid and soda pop have sugar that causes cavities and should not be put in the bottle.
  • Cavities are caused by germs that your baby gets from you. Clean pacifiers with warm soapy water not with your mouth; don’t share spoons and cups with your baby; and don’t share pacifiers or bottles with other babies.  To keep your mouth clean, brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste 2 times a day.
  • Strong baby teeth start with you. Moms with good oral health are more likely to have healthy babies with good oral health. Moms can limit the risk of early childhood tooth decay by making sure their own teeth are clean and healthy.  To keep your mouth clean, brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste 2 times a day and have regular dental check-ups.
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