When to Start Brushing Baby’s Teeth

New baby has arrived and as a new or experienced parent, you will have tons of important decisions to make such as nursing versus formula, skin-to-skin or swaddling, etc. Among these decisions is when to start brushing baby’s teeth and/or caring for their gums? The answer, right away! As soon as your baby is born it is important to begin caring for their gums. Before baby’s teeth arrive you can begin to care for their gums by moistening a washcloth or piece of gauze and gently wiping down your baby's gums at least twice a day, especially after feedings and before bedtime.

When to Start Brushing Baby’s Teeth

Once baby’s teeth begin to come in you can upgrade the gauze or washcloth to a soft bristle baby toothbrush and begin gently brushing their teeth with a grain of rice-sized dollop of baby toothpaste. Gently brush the front and back of the tooth/teeth and gum line. The gauze or washcloth should continue to be used to clean the rest of the mouth/gums.

Baby’s teeth and gums should continue to be brushed and cleaned twice a day until they are old enough to begin brushing their teeth on their own. Parents should always supervise tooth brushing until at least the age of 10 to ensure children are properly brushing their teeth.

When to Take Baby to the Dentist

When to start brushing baby's teeth

Baby should be taken to the dentist by at least 2 years of age, unless there is a problem or trauma. The dentist can give you advice about baby tooth care, thumb sucking, etc.

What to Expect When Baby is Teething

When to start brushing baby's teeth

Teething will be a trying time, as baby will be uncomfortable when their teeth begin to push through the gum surfaces.

Symptoms of teething include:



Swollen gums

Slightly higher temperature than normal

To make baby more comfortable during this time you can try cold teething rings or a wet washcloth, rubbing their gums with a clean finger, and/or topical pain relief ointments.

Preparing for Baby's First Teeth

Baby's first tooth will likely appear around 6 months of age and will normally always be a lower front tooth. Be prepared for this stage by having a baby toothbrush, toothpaste, and teething essentials. Once baby's first tooth does appear this a great time to bring them with to mom and dad’s appointment so they can get a chair ride and get familiar with the dental office. Visit our article, "Frequently Asked Questions About Children’s Teeth" to learn more.