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Should I clean my baby’s gums?

It's important to establish a good oral health routine at a young age, even before children have teeth. Begin cleaning your baby’s mouth during the first few days after birth by wiping the gums with a clean, moist gauze pad or washcloth. As soon as teeth appear, decay can occur.
If your child doesn’t have teeth yet, take a clean wet cloth or gauze pad and gently wipe your child’s gums after feedings. This will remove any bacteria-containing plaque and excess sugar that may have built up. As soon as the first tooth appears, you can brush gently with a soft, infant-sized toothbrush and water.

From Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children by Jennifer Trachtenberg.
Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children

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Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children

When kids start going on TV binges or devouring fistfuls of cookies, it's easy to say, "They'll grow out of it." More likely, they're acquiring bad habits that could lead to childhood obesity and...

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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.