Clean Your Newborn's Mouth Every Day
Using a clean washcloth, gauze, or a finger brush, gently wipe off your baby's gums with a fluoride-free gum cleanser -- ideally, after each feeding but at least once every morning and night. This not only keeps breast milk and formula from pooling inside the mouth, but it also establishes the teeth-cleaning habit. "Routines are very important for children, and setting them can make a big difference in maintenance later in life," Dr. Krol says.
Plus, most babies enjoy a good gum massage, which gets your baby used to having something poked around in her mouth. "The more you're in there at an early age, the easier toothbrushing will be," Dr. Keels says. "If you don't start till age 2, you'll get a fight."