Baby > The essentials > Washing your baby > Cleaning your baby's teeth > When and how to clean your baby's teeth

When and how to clean your baby's teeth

Advice on looking after your baby's first teeth including information on tooth care and tips on cleaning and brushing milk teeth.
As soon as your baby's first tooth appears, you should start caring for it. Most experts recommend wiping the tooth a couple of times a day with a cloth. This keeps the residue from milk from sticking to the tooth. Also available are baby toothbrushes that fit on your finger, these have very soft bristles and can also be used to clean the tooth. This is a useful item to use, particularly as more teeth arrive.

Adult toothpaste is not recommended until a child is about three because they may swallow it and get too much fluoride. However there are many varieties of children's toothpaste on the market, in a variety of flavours, colours and branding.

By the time children are a year and a half, they are more interested in the toothbrush. It is worth giving them a toothbrush as soon as they become interested. By two years of age you can teach them how to brush with a toothbrush twice a day.

Take your baby with you to the dentist from being a tiny baby so he or she can get used to the sights, sounds and going regularly. This should help when a check up is needed once your baby's teeth begin to grow.

Chat or Ask a Question:

If you have a question about this article or something else, visit our friendly forums & ask the AskBaby community.

Chat about when and how to clean your baby's teeth with our friendly community...

Your Comments:

We'd love to hear your comments on this article...

Login to add your comment:

Email: Password:
Not yet a member? Join thousands of other parents and parents-to-be... Sign Up Now!
Forgot your

My little boy is 2 and has started resisting having his teeth cleaned. He used to love doing them himself and now he doesn't like me interfering when he won't clean his teeth. Has started having tantrums. Can anyone give me any tips on getting us back to a good place???? Thanks,
by JoK 15th Nov 2010, 8:46am
if your child doesn't let you brush, try asking him to let you brush them first - this way you can make sure they are clean, and then let him finish off. If you only let him do it, they will no way be clean enough. A child should be assisted in brushing until they are about 9 yrs.
by nikk871 6th Sep 2010, 5:04pm
My son Joshua is 1 he can brush alone and i must help he so its pretty and he say i can i can so whats the problem what can i help he ?
by VanessaAngela 12th Aug 2010, 10:44am
this is quite normal... they don't always come through as a pair. my son's came in bits and bats but he now has the most wonderful smile... some of what we think are "pairs" don't come through at the same time. don't wory!
by twiggyt 26th Oct 2009, 12:49pm
My girl Carmen just had her first teeth llast wk, however, it's not in pair, ONYL 1 teeth on the lower gum. I'm worry, is it normal.
by Leong 19th Oct 2009, 10:23am
This is going to sound as daft as a ..toothbrush but here it goes. I am 36 and have never had a filling. I put this down to good dental hygiene and probably good genetics too. I started encouraging my baby to 'brush his teeth the moment he had 2 bottom teeth. I cleaned his teeth after every mealk which my dentist said was excessive so we do it am & pm only. (It's so confusing with advice about the detrimental effects of late bottle feeding etc). Anyway I hum the tune to "Ride of the Valkyries" and he has a big opne smile waiting for the toothbrush complete with paste everytime without fail - try your favourite tune with little one still in the hight chair while you do it = great fun. Don't know the tune listen to it on youtube or pick a silly tune of your own!
by JulieAngel 7th Aug 2008, 8:53am
when my son was born I bought some tooth paste called smiles from 0-2yrs each day from 6wks I would put just enough on my finger for him to taste and get used to it, when his two bottom teeth made an entrance at just 15wks i bought him a tooth brush from the same range and every day from that day we brush his teeth and gums and he loves it laughs as soon as the tooth brush comes out and loves the mild minty taste. my son comes to the dentist with me, my husband and our other children, not to sit in the chair but to get used to the room and what the dentist does, this way he wont be scared when it come to his turn to sit in the chair.
by AskBaby8355 1st May 2007, 8:49am