When to Start Brushing Baby Teeth

image001As your baby grows, his mouth will slowly change from a gummy smile to one filled with baby teeth. Although these teeth are small, they are important as they reserve a spot for the adult teeth. It is crucial that you care for your baby’s teeth and keep them free from decay because if they aren’t healthy your child will eventually have difficulties speaking clearly and chewing. In order to protect baby teeth, many parents ask when to start brushing baby teeth. Continue reading this article and you will not only find the answer, but also know how to clean and protect baby teeth.

When to Start Brushing Baby Teeth

You should start brushing your baby’s teeth as soon as you see the first one and do this twice a day. By starting early, your baby will get used to the process. The first tooth can vary but is usually a front bottom tooth that appears around six months of age. Most healthy babies will have all of their 20 baby teeth by the time they are two and a half.

Even though it seems very far in the future, you should keep brushing your baby’s teeth until he reaches age seven at which point he can do it correctly himself.

How to Clean Baby’s Teeth



Brush twice a day

You should try to brush your baby’s teeth two times a day. Ideally one time will be in the morning and the other at night after his last drink for the day.

Make gentle circular movements

Use a thin layer of toothpaste that covers three quarters or less of the bristles. Use small and gentle circular motions while brushing and focus on the spot where the gums and teeth meet. Never brush too vigorously as this can be painful.

Spit out

Encourage your baby to spit out the toothpaste after brushing but don’t rinse his mouth as this can make the toothpaste less effective.

Face away from you

It is easiest to reach your baby’s teeth when he sitting on your lap and facing away from you.

Let baby hold a brush

Giving your baby a toothbrush to hold will help him feel in control. You can even let him try brushing by himself with supervision.

Brush your teeth before your baby

Whenever you can have your baby watch your brush your teeth as this helps him absorb the idea.

Talk to your dentist

If you need more guidance on how to brush your baby’s teeth, talk to your dentist.

Watch this video to get more information about how to clean baby’s teeth:

How to Protect Baby’s Teeth



Reduce sugar intake

Only have sugary foods (including dry fruits) at mealtimes and four times a day maximum.

Drink carefully

Only give your baby breast milk, formula or water. Other drinks contain a lot of sugar.

Take distinct drinking ways at different ages

Try using a beaker when your child is six months and stop him from using a bottle at a year. After this point, he should only drink water at night.

Keep a healthy diet

Make sure your baby has a healthy and balanced diet with savory, sugar-free foods.

Check before eating

Always look at the ingredients on baby foods to make sure they are sugar-free or don’t have added sugar.

Take sugar-free medicine

Whenever possible, give your baby sugar-free medicine.

Frequently Asked Questions about Brushing Baby Teeth

1. How Can I Choose Baby Toothbrush?

  • Clean gauze or muslin

Some parents find it easiest to clean their baby’s teeth by wrapping a piece of clean muslin or gauze around their fingers, adding a bit of toothpaste and rubbing it on their baby’s teeth.

  • Soft brush

If you use a brush, always pick one with soft bristles and an angled head so you can reach the entire mouth. Most packages will have an age range listed on them.

  • Regular baby toothbrush replacement

Be sure to change your baby’s toothbrush at least every three months but do so sooner if you notice the bristles spreading out.

2. How Can I Select Baby Toothpaste?

  • Fluoride

It is the active ingredient in toothpaste and prevents tooth decay but you cannot have too much of it.

Under-threes should use toothpaste with less fluoride (around 1000 parts per million or ppm).

Over-threes can use normal toothpastes as long as they don’t have more than 1350 ppm to 1500 ppm of fluoride.

  • Small amounts

You should always be sure to use the recommended amount (which is small) and have your baby spit it out when he is old enough to do so.

  • Damage of large amounts

If your baby swallows too much fluoride, it can give his teeth a mottled effect or lead to diarrhea and vomiting. If your baby continues swallowing toothpaste, use a brand that has no more than 550 ppm of fluoride. He will still be safe from large amounts even if there is fluoride in the water supply.

3. Is It Better to Give My Baby Fluoride Supplements?

Some babies need fluoride supplements but you should only do this at the suggestion of his dentist and following the prescribed dosage.

  • It is less likely that your child needs supplements if there is fluoride in the local water but it is still possible.
  • Your dentist or local water company can tell you if the water is fluoridated.
  • Avoid exposing your baby to too much fluoride.

4. When Can I Take My Baby to the Dentist?

Always take your child with you when you go to the dentist so he can get used to the space. The exception, of course, is if you are afraid of the dentist as your child can pick up on this fear. Dentists have varying policies and some will start doing dental checks when your baby is six months while others will wait until his first tooth comes in.