When Did You Start Brushing the Baby's Teeth?

Updated on April 24, 2014
I.B. asks from Brooklyn, NY
20 answers

I know you're supposed to start brushing after the first tooth came out. But I don't believe everyone is doing that.
So WHEN DID YOU start brushing the baby's teeth? What kind of brush and toothpaste are recommended? (please give some links).

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So What Happened?

Thank you all for your answers and recommendation!
I started using a silicon rubber brash without toothpaste, but thinking of buying the banana toothbrush that I saw on amazon that is best seller. Is it a good toothbrush?

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answers from Reading on

Before the teeth come in, so that when the teeth come in and they're uncomfortable, it's not just one more new thing they have to adapt to. Lots of people use a washcloth, but I found a rubber fingertip brush made for babies. at some point, introduce fluoride free paste so they get used to the flavor, too. Earlier is always better - start as you mean to go, as the expression states.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

I cleaned their mouths with a washcloth and no toothpaste from the beginning. When they started to get teeth I used a toothbrush (just the smallest, softest toothbrush I could find, I remember one had Winnie the Pooh on it) and toddler toothpaste (it had Little Bear on the bottle, maybe made by Orajel?). I always let them brush their own teeth while I brushed mine, so they could practice (as babies that usually meant just chewing on the toothbrush), then I brushed for them.

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Rochester on

You absolutely should start brushing their teeth when they come in! Formula and milk have a LOT of sugar. Really, you ought to be brushing the gums before the teeth even come in - gum problems can happen without teeth. I mean - think about your breathe if you don't brush your teeth for a day, yet people let their baby go months and months before ever cleaning their mouth? Ew.

I used toothpaste and toothbrushes that are age appropriate. Before the age of 3, I used toothpaste with no flouride.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I took a washcloth to her gums before she had teeth and used a finger brush and I believe it was Orajel baby tooth cleaner (no flouride) when she got her first teeth. I find your phrasing of this question interesting. It sounds like you are trying to justify not brushing. If you know you should, why not just do it? FWIW, my DD has also been to a pediatric dentist since she was 10 months old (enamel issues) and our dentist says that children should have a first visit at 1 yr and definitely by 3 yrs. Baby teeth are important.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

Actually, my dentist recommended I rub their gums with a washcloth even BEFORE any teeth came through.

I did, sometimes, but not every single day. I did indeed brush once there were teeth, and it was difficult, b/c my son got his early... like 4 by 4 months. He was not cooperative.

I bought baby toothpaste, both baby orajel toothpaste and the (I think) Little Bear toothpaste. They are non-flouride, which is what you want, since baby can't spit and will end up swallowing it.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

It's been so long...but I think right around the time they starting eating solids, so around 12 to 14 months? I had a little soft finger brush thingy that I used, but I didn't put any toothpaste on it. My dentist said that was fine. I didn't start using toothpaste until they knew how to spit well.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I used a wet washcloth to wipe down my daughter's gums before her teeth were out (before she began taking solids, when I remembered; after she began taking solids, after each solid meal). Then I continued to do the same when her front teeth came (before nap/bedtime and/or after meals). Once her molars came in, that's when I began using a wet toothbrush (before nap/bedtime and also after she had something acidic like oranges or a sweet snack) plus I also use a wetcloth for her front teeth because sometimes it's hard to get my daughter to say "eeeeee".

I use the Oral-B soft bristle toothbrush that has Winnie the Pooh characters on them. Other "soft" bristle toothbrushes I tried were not that soft. I think using soft bristle toothbrushes will prevent receding gumlines. Also, in the beginning, toothpaste is unnecessary according my pediatrician. My daughter is 21 months old and we still use just water.

I DESPISE going to the dentist and having dental procedures done even if it's just for a filling. Actually, I hate going to the denist to just get cleaning every six months. So I try to make sure my daughter has good teeth so she won't have to go through them (as much). Plus, we all get one set of teeth to last us a lifetime so I'm pretty strict about dental hygiene. The condition of baby teeth has an effect on the permanent teeth!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Louisville on

We were bad about brushing in the beginning. As a result, my 4 year old is having $8000 worth of dental work done on Monday.

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answers from Chicago on

I started cleaning my kids gums with a wet washcloth when they were about 4 months, before teeth actually came in. Then I would wipe the teeth, Later, I let them chew on a baby toothbrush. I also gave them a really cold wash cloth to chew on when they were getting their teeth--soothes and cleans at the same time.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

Well, my boys are 5 and 7 1/2, so it's been a little while, but I did start brushing when the first tooth appeared. I just used a toothbrush (no toothpaste) at first. When my son got a little older and wasn't as willing to open his mouth I began using toddler toothpaste, just to give it a little flavor.

Most people I know really did begin brushing as soon as they saw that first tooth. It really wasn't a big deal to do it. We often sat in the rocking chair and watched a little tv before be, so I would just brush his teeth (or tooth) while he was sitting on my lap. Then I'd probably read a book before bed. It was just part of our routine.

I just bought an extra soft toothbrush and toddler toothpaste at Walmart. Something like this



1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

before they started coming in....

flouridefree toothpaste and one of those finger toothbrushes...he loved the flavor of the toothpaste and used to love gnawing on the brush pasrticularly during teething

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chattanooga on

I used a washcloth on her gums before she had any teeth.

Once her first tooth sprouted, I used one of those little brushes that slips over your finger. (And plain water.) (this is what I used... http://www.walmart.com/ip/Nuk-Infant-Gum-Cleanser/35054789 )

I even started flossing her teeth when she had two next to each other, using floss picks.

I switched to a regular children's toothbrush and training (fluoride-free) toothpaste when she was around a year old.

My thought was that my husband and I have a family history of bad teeth... The strength of teeth is genetic, so I wanted to make sure I got my daughter into the habit of brushing regularly... This way, I'm hoping hat it will be such an ingrained habit that later on I won't have to get on her case the way my parents had to get on mine when I was a kid. :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on


Welcome to mamapedia!

We started as soon as the bumps appeared...we used something like this:


and the tooth paste is on the same link.

can't stress enough how important dental hygiene is!!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

I started brushing her teeth as soon as she had a tooth to brush using a baby brush and baby paste.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Santa Barbara on

Even before teeth come in, the gums need to be cleaned (washcloth or the finger scrub you can find in most baby sections of stores). I do not think fluoride toothpaste is recommended before age two. You can get fluoride drops from the doctor's office if your water supply does not add it (some people are very much against fluoride, so I will not advocate it one way or the other).

My kids do eat junk food, yet I avoid giving them the sticky candy types. They mainly drink water (no soda or juice). If they were ever put to bed with a bottle, it would only have water (no formula or milk). I recall one dentist office saying that sippy cups are just as bad as bottles if they have a sugary drink in them (milk or juice).

Also, before a baby is two they can actually get cavities from the mother (or others with the certain bacteria) if they mouth kiss and share food. Make sure you have good oral hygiene too. http://www.nbcnews.com/id/35989527/ns/health-oral_health/...

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Chewing on an infant tooth brush is just as effective as brushing their teeth since they don't use any toothpaste.

Get a baby tooth brush and let them chew on it but replace it as needed.

I always scalded ours after I took it away.

They should have an appointment with a pediatric dentist when they get some more teeth in. The kid that went from a toddler age does much better with the dentist that the one that went first time at 3.



answers from Chicago on

I have a 13 month old that has an unused toothbrush. I keep meaning to start, but she's so grumpy at bedtime :-)

I can't recall with the others...it was late..and they've never had problems :-)



answers from Iowa City on

I started both of mine with a finger brush and water before they had teeth. When they got teeth I added infant tooth gel. As they get used to it, we move up to a 0-2 year old brush and at 3 to flouride paste and a battery brush.



answers from Denver on

I personally did start brushing both of my children's teeth after the last feeding of the day with a clean wet wash cloth. Some time around their first birthday, I started using a toddler toothbrush and paste. I don't remember the brand, but they were sold together in a pack and had Elmo on them. My dad is a dentist who specializes in oral hygiene of young children and even serves as a board member for various health organization to promote good oral health of babies through preschoolers, so I talked to him about best practices. Don't use flouride toothpaste until they can spit well and you trust them not to swallow the toothpaste. My 2 year is not there yet. Loads of brands make good toddler toothpaste that is flouride free. My daughter hated the taste of lots of them, so we just tried different brands and flavors that she liked. My dad says the brand itself doesn't matter - use the flavor that your child tolerates the best. Good luck! My son loves getting his teeth brushed but it was a daily struggle with my daughter.


answers from Washington DC on

i didn't actually brush with a soft toothbrush and toothpaste until they were old enough to understand 'spit', and to want to participate themselves. so, maybe a year and a half?
it's been so long!
but prior to that i wiped their teeth with a soft cloth after each meal from the time they erupted.

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