OverviewEven though newborns and infants do not have teeth, care of the mouth and gums is important. Use a damp washcloth to wipe your infant's gums after each meal and do not put your infant or young child to bed with a bottle of milk, juice, or sugar water. As the child grows, establishing proper dental hygiene will promote healthy teeth and gums which are essential to overall good health. Poor dental development, dental disease, and dental trauma can result in poor nutrition, painful and dangerous infections, problems with speech development, and problems with self image.
Update Date 2/22/2016
Updated by: Michael Kapner, DDS, general and aesthetic dentistry, Norwalk Medical Center, Norwalk, CT. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.