He is Just a Baby! No Way Can He Be Exposed to Decay on His Teeth As if parents don’t have enough to worry about their newborns, it has now been confirmed in a recent study that the bacteria that causes decay is present in infant bacteria. Cavities are the most infectious disease in children in the United States. By the age of 5, 40% of children have dental cavities. Parents need to take precaution at an early age to help minimize the potential for tooth decay. This includes, cleaning the gums of the infants as this soft tissue serves as a reservoir for bacteria even before tooth eruption. Good oral health of your child should start from the very beginning. Even before the teeth erupt. The infant’s gums can be cleaned by wetting a soft washcloth or gauze and wiping it over the gums daily to remove formula or breast milk. Doing this, also provides circulation in the area. Although baby teeth do not start to erupt until around six months of age, every precaution should be taken to provide a healthy oral environment. Bottle mouth syndrome is caused by frequent and prolonged exposure to liquids that may contain sugar. This includes formula and breast milk as well as fruit juices. When sugary liquids are allowed to remain around the teeth for a prolonged time, it can lead to decay on the teeth that first develop in the upper and lower front teeth. A baby should never be left to fall asleep with a bottle of juice or milk in his mouth. The bottle with milk should not serve as a pacifier for your child instead a bottle filled with water will be more advantageous to maintaining a healthy oral environment. Rule of thumb is you need to start taking care of your child’s teeth right from birth. You do not need to wait until the teeth erupt. Remember, from healthy gums come healthy teeth.