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When Should I Start Brushing My Baby’s Teeth?

As a parent, you’ll want the very best care for your child to keep them happy and healthy. Dental health is an important part of that, and the earlier you instil good habits and clean those little teeth, the more likely it is they’ll have strong, white teeth for life. It starts with looking after your baby’s teeth.

Many of our patients ask us how they should look after their little one’s smile, so today, our dentists will answer some common questions about the best ways to encourage brushing, the best products to use, and when to start that all-important daily dental routine.

At what age should I brush my baby’s teeth?

With a baby’s teeth, age doesn’t come into it. Instead, it’s more about when they erupt (come through). At the first glimpse of those pearly whites, use a baby’s toothbrush and a smear of toothpaste to gently clean them.

How often do I clean my baby’s teeth?

Just like an adult, you’ll need to brush them twice daily. For most people, this means brushing after breakfast and after the evening meal (or before bed). You’ll need to brush for two minutes to properly clean the teeth.

How much toothpaste should I use for my baby’s teeth?

A small smear is all that’s needed for children up to 3 years of age. Children aged 3-6 can use a pea-sized amount, and adults should use a thin ribbon of toothpaste. Our dentists advise using a baby or child toothpaste that has at least 1,000 fluoride up until the age of 3. This will be clearly labelled on the packaging. A flavoured toothpaste is also fine to use.

How do I clean my child’s teeth?

Step 1: Prepare the toothbrush

Step 2: Sit them on your knee, facing outwards

Step 3: Gently open their mouth, tilt their head and clean in small circles

Step 4: Remind your child to spit the toothpaste out afterwards

Step 5: Avoid rinsing or swilling with water, as this affects the fluoride

How do I encourage my baby to brush?

Singing a song, playing a game or simply modelling how to brush can encourage your child. Our dentists can also recommend techniques for getting your baby to open their mouth and ways to hold their brush when ready.

What else should I do for my baby’s smile?

Bring them in for regular check-ups, every 6 months, when the teeth come through. Our dentists near Marylebone are on hand to help with your child’s teeth.