How to Clean a Baby's Gums

Although your baby's toothless grin is adorable, bacteria can build up on her gums, so it's important to keep them clean even before those first pearly whites pop through.


Up next in Baby Care Tips (15 videos)

Keep your baby happy, healthy, and clean with the tips in these Howcast videos. Advice includes how to change a diaper correctly; how to trim a baby's nails; how to bathe a baby; how to clean a baby's gums; how to make homemade baby wipes; and much more.

You Will Need

  • A baby with a toothless grin
  • A washcloth
  • And some cool water


  1. Step 1

    Soak washcloth

    Soak the washcloth in cool water and wring it out until it's just damp.

  2. Step 2

    Wrap around finger

    Wrap the damp cloth around your finger.

  3. Step 3

    Swipe gums

    Gently run the cloth over the surface of your baby's gums. Make sure to swipe both the upper and lower surfaces.

  4. You shouldn't have any trouble squeezing your finger past your baby's lips, but if you do, try tickling her lower lip. This should induce her to open wide.

  5. Step 4

    Repeat process

    Repeat this process a couple times a day, preferably after feedings. Getting your baby used to the sensation can make brushing her teeth easier down the road for both of you.

  6. At birth, a baby has 20 primary teeth just below the surface of her gums.