Brushing baby teeth: When to start and best ways to do it

Brushing baby teeth: When to start and best ways to do it

Learn the basics of baby's dental hygiene! Find out when to start brushing and how with help from leading pediatric dentists!

Your infant’s baby teeth can erupt from the gums as early as 4 months after birth, though many babies won’t start to see any development until around their 6 month.

While it’s exciting for parents to see those first few teeth come in, you may be wondering some important questions. For example, “When am I supposed to start brushing my baby’s teeth?” or “What are the best ways to go about brushing my infant’s teeth?”

Well, look no further cavity conscious moms and dads! Today, we’re going to go over the basics of brushing baby teeth based on suggestions from dentists and experts. When it’s all said and done you’ll be brushing those baby snaggers with ease!

Let’s start with the basics, shall we?

When to start

Aura Caldera, DDS, a dentist based out of New York/New Jersey, suggests “Before your baby’s first tooth erupts, you should get in the habit of wiping their gums with a soft, wet washcloth or baby finger toothbrush, especially after feedings and at bedtime.”

Once a baby’s first tooth erupts, parents should begin to brush twice a day. Ideally, once in the morning (after breakfast) and once at night (after dinner). Also, make sure that no meals follow the last brushing session of the day.

brushing baby teeth

Best method

“Choose a soft-bristled brush with a small head and a comfortable handle,” Caldera recommends. “Use only a tiny rice size smear of toothpaste, and brush gently around your child’s teeth, both front and back.”

Be sure to be mindful of the back teeth and lower teeth where bacteria often accumulates, she adds.

Type of toothpaste

Before you pick a toothpaste, you should check if your baby’s vitamin consists of fluoride. If so, then opt for a non-fluoridated training toothpaste. If not, Robert Delarosa, DDS, a Baton Rouge-based pediatric dentist and the former president of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, recommends using just the rice-size amount of standard fluoridated toothpaste.


Delarosa says that as soon as teeth begin to touch each other, parents need to start flossing. To make the process a bit easier, he recommends using the “claw shaped” types of flossers. If you’re having trouble envisioning this type of tool, here’s a look. These types of contraptions make it easier to maneuver through an infant’s mouth, and should make it easier to clean their teeth.

brushing baby teeth

Helping them cope with process

Babies don’t always take too kindly to the process of brushing and flossing. However, it’s a necessary evil, so to say. That’s why parents have to work hard to help babies cope with the process.

“It helps to sing or play a song that they like to keep them distracted,” Delarosa suggests. “Also, if your baby loves the bath, you can brush and floss then while she’s splashing around and playing.”

First dentist appointment

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistr, parents should schedule baby’s first dentist appointment around their first birthday.

Dr. Caldera claims, “Making a dental exam part of their yearly well visits helps to establish a dental home, which is important for preventing cavities, as well as learning about your baby’s growth, development, and oral health.”


This article was based on a post from Momtastic


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