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When Should a Child Start Brushing Their Teeth?
0 to 3 Years
Before your baby's teeth erupt, use a soft, clean piece of gauze to clean your baby's gums after feeding.
When the first tooth erupts, around 6 months, begin gently brushing twice a day with a very soft-bristled child-size toothbrush. Use a very small amount of children's fluoride toothpaste (the size of a grain of rice). Make sure they spit out the toothpaste.
For children age 3 to 6, brush their teeth twice a day regularly. Use a pea-sized amount of children's fluoride toothpaste. Make sure they spit out the toothpaste.
Continue to brush your child's teeth until you are sure that they can clean them safely and effectively themselves. Continue to use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on a child-sized toothbrush until their permanent teeth have grown in.
Recommended Products for Children 3+ years
RADIUS Totz Toothbrush Extra Soft Brush (18+ months)
As soon as a child has two teeth that are touching, they should begin to floss. An adult should floss for them until the child is old enough to safely and effectively floss on their own. This should be around age 6 or 7.
As soon as a child's first tooth appears (usually 4 to 6 months of age), you should schedule a visit to your dentist.
ADA guidelines suggest that the first dental visit should happen within 6 months of the first tooth eruption, and before their first birthday. If you child has had no teeth come in by 10 months, schedule a dental visit.
How to Prevent Cavities in Children
A baby is born with 20 primary (baby) teeth in their jaw. They usually begin coming through the gums 4 to 6 months of age. By age 3, most children will have a full set of 20 primary teeth. Tooth decay is the most common childhood dental problem, which leads to cavities, but it is preventable.
Sugary drinks are the most common cause of pediatric tooth decay and cavities.
Here are some tips to avoid cavities in children:
Limit sugar intake. Avoid sweetened water, soft drinks, and fruit juice. Water is the best drink for babies and toddlers.
Don't put your baby to sleep with a bottle. When a baby falls asleep with a bottle, some milk stays in their mouth and on their teeth. When the baby has finished feeding, remove the bottle or breast, and wipe their mouth with a damp cloth before bed.
Use clean pacifiers. Do not dip them in honey or sugar.
Try not to share saliva. Cavity causing bacteria can be passed from parent to child. Avoid putting spoons and pacifiers in your mouth before your child.
Clean the child's gums and teeth regularly. Use a soft damp cloth to wipe your child's gums before their first tooth erupts. As soon as their first tooth erupts start using a child-sized soft toothbrush and small amount of children's fluoride toothpaste (the size of a grain of rice). Make sure they spit out the toothbrush.
Tooth Eruption Chart
Everything You Need to Keep Your Kid's Teeth Healthy
Keep Your Baby's Mouth Healthy
This list has all the supplies you'll need to start taking care of your baby's teeth.
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.
We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).