image for baby exercise articleThe health of your baby’s mouth may be the last thing on your mind. After all, there are diapers to change and many feedings to think about. While baby’s first tooth is a milestone to remember, now is the time to think about how you will help your baby have a healthy mouth.

You may be familiar with the most common mouth problems to plague little ones, like teething and thrush. But did you know that cavities are the most common chronic disease in young children? And that cavities can develop as soon as your baby gets their first tooth? Read more about common mouth problems and how to help your baby have a healthy mouth.

Most babies get their first tooth when they are 5-9 months old and have 6-8 teeth by their first birthday. New parents may dread teething, but many babies will sprout teeth with little more than some crankiness and extra drool. And, of course, chewing on everything they can get their hands on. Tips to help your baby get through teething include:

  • Give a cold teething ring to chew on. Never tie a teething ring around your baby’s neck, because of the risk of strangulation.
  • If your baby is very uncomfortable, you may be able to give infant acetaminophen. Do not give your child aspirin because it can cause serious illness. Talk to your baby's doctor before using any pain relievers or numbing gels.
  • If your baby will let you, massage swollen gums with your clean finger.