Your child's teeth began to form between the third and sixth month of pregnancy. Therfore, all expectant mothers must practice good health habits to ensure the proper development of their unborn child's teeth. This includes consuming calcium-rich foods such as leafy greens, fortified cereals, and dairy or soy products. At birth, your new baby has 20 primary teeth that will begin to emerge when the baby is between 6 months and 12 months.
Good dental hygiene should begin before your child has their first tooth. To prevent the buildup of bacteria in your child's mouth, be sure to wipe their gums with a soft damp cloth after feeding. As teeth emerge, begin using a soft child's toothbrush twice a day. Brush in small circles on all sides of the teeth. Young children tend to swallow toothpaste, so if you use toothpaste only put a small pea-size amount on the brush. Encourage your child to spit it out rather than swallowing. Swallowing too much toothpaste with fluoride can cause permanent stains on their teeth.
Your pediatrician has probably already addressed the topic of fluoride. Muskegon's water already has fluoride added, so if you have city water your child will not need an additional supplement. If not, ask your physician/dentist about a fluoride prescription for your child. Fluoride helps make teeth strong by hardening tooth enamel, which makes then more resistant to decay.