Once the first tooth erupts on the top or bottom, it’s time to begin brushing with a very soft brush and toothpaste made specifically for babies, or simply use water with the toothbrush. Before teeth are present, the gums should be cleaned with a clean, wet washcloth. It is important not to put your baby to bed with a bottle of juice or even milk. If they need a bottle to get to sleep, it should only have water in it. Recent recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, states it is best to have a child’s first dental check up by age one or within six months of the eruption of the first teeth. This is the best time to begin learning about preventive treatments and steps parents can take to help assure a lifetime of healthy smiles for their child.