Brushing Baby’s Teeth- When Should You Begin?

It is indeed a joy for all parents to see baby’s first tooth appear. It is an indication that your baby can slowly start chewing food. However, as joyful it may sound, teething can be a painful experience for both babies and parents. Maintaining healthy teeth is also a challenging task. Questions like, “what kind of a brush to use?”, “when to start brushing?”, “should I brush the gums?”, and “what toothpaste to use” will haunt every parent’s mind. Read on to understand baby teeth brushing and cleaning basics.

brushing 2.jpg

Baby Teeth Chart

Well, all babies are not the same. Some babies get the first tooth as early as 6 months, whereas some babies get it between 8 to 10 months. There is nothing to worry about this process as each child grows and develops differently. Listed below is a standard teeth chart to understand what type of teeth appear in different growth stages.

Lower Teeth:

  • Canine: 17 to 24 months
  • Incisor: 10 to 15 months
  • First molar: 14 to 18 months
  • Second molar: 21 to 30 months
  • Central incisor: 6 to 9 months

Upper Teeth:

  • Central incisor: 8 to 12 months
  • Lateral incisor: 9 to 13 months
  • First molar: 13 to 18 months
  • Second molar: 24 to 34 months
  • Canine: 16 to 22 months

When to begin brushing your baby’s teeth?

Many tend to ignore brushing in the first few months after the teeth erupt. But doctors suggest to start brushing as soon as the first tooth appears. In fact, it is also recommended to brush the gums gently to keep them clean.

Before the teeth appear, it is generally advised to clean your baby’s mouth using a moist cloth or finger. The gums and the tongue are thoroughly cleaned after every meal. Regular cleaning helps prevent bacterial plaque that can damage infant’s teeth.

How to brush your baby’s teeth?

As soon as the first tooth pops out, you can start using a toothbrush. Soft and gentle baby toothbrushes are readily available in the market. Listed below are some tips to brush your baby’s teeth.

  • Wet the toothbrush
  • Squeeze on it a little baby’s toothpaste
  • Brush thoroughly at the back, front and corner
  • While brushing, gently rub the back of the toothbrush on the tongue and gums to clean them

Regular cleaning of gums and brushing of teeth fight the growth of bacteria and support good oral hygiene.

Is fluoride toothpaste safe?

It is recommended to use non-fluoride toothpaste for children below 3 years as it is not safe if ingested. Children above 3 years can use a small quantity of fluoride toothpaste and be instructed not to swallow it.

Preventing cavities

Babies are more prone to getting cavities. Try to avoid feeding your baby too many juices or sugary drinks. Carbonated beverages must totally be avoided. Encourage drinking more of formula milk or cow milk. Ensure that your baby does not go the bed without brushing her teeth and rinsing her mouth.  It is absolutely necessary to prevent cavities in babies, as decayed teeth can hamper speech and brain development.


Do not make brushing a boring or routine activity as children will not like it. Try to make it a fun activity by allowing your child to play, dance or sing songs. If your baby’s first tooth is out, pick up the brush now :-). Request other mothers to share their opinions and tips please. Do comment.