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How to Make Cleaning Your Infants Mouth Part of a Daily Routine After Birth

Posted in:DadsHealthy SmilesMoms


Mother brushing infant's teeth with a finger brush

Cleaning your infant’s mouth soon after their birth is an important part to keeping them healthy. Cleaning your babies’ gums to clear out residue left behind from breast milk, formula or food prevents the buildup of bacteria and protects teeth when they begin to peek through and gets them ready for toothbrushing.

Start by wiping their gums with a damp, soft, clean cloth after each feeding or use a product like tooth tissues made for infants. Make sure if you dampen the cloth, it is room temperature and don’t use hot water or a frozen cloth when cleaning the mouth.

When cleaning a baby’s mouth, lay their head close to your chest with their head up, facing you.  This will let you look directly down into their mouth to get a better view of the mouth and what you are doing.  It may take you and your baby several tries for you to become comfortable with cleaning their mouth.  Your baby may move their head around or close their mouth and possibly cry. Don’t give up!

Gently hold their head against your chest and place the cloth close to their mouth until they open.  It should only take a few seconds to gently run the cloth over their gums on the top and bottom to clean the mouth.  You will be a pro in no time.

It is best to clean your infants’ mouth after each feeding or at least upon waking or before going to bed. Find a routine that works for you to make sure you clean your baby’s mouth at least two times a day.

Keeping your infant’s gums and mouth clean is important for developing teeth!

© 2024. Delaware Division of Public Health.