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Why should I care for my baby's mouth and gums before he gets teeth?

When we are talking about mouth care, especially in infants, it sometimes seems counterproductive, because children don't even have teeth. But part of the realization is that cavities come from basically two reasons: One is that you have bacteria in the mouth that eats sugar, and the second is that the bacteria then create an acid that breaks down tooth enamel. The goal of tooth care or gum care before the eruption of teeth is to try to prepare the way, so as teeth come into the mouth, they have an environment that's prepared to have them be healthy. It also is a great way to help kids, so that as their teeth come out, they don't fight you when you're trying to get them to do tooth care later on.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.