My baby got his first teeth a few weeks ago. Should I be brushing his teeth? At what age is it necessary to brush a baby/child's teeth?

asked 15 Dec '09, 04:41

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Our pediatrician recommended we start brushing our son's teeth pretty much as soon as they started coming in. We brush his teeth once a day, after his last bottle, with a little rubber bristly thing that fits over your finger (similar to this one). We don't use toothpaste or anything, just kind of rub his teeth and gums. If he's awake he doesn't mind, but if he's already asleep he'll avoid having a finger stuck in his mouth.


answered 15 Dec '09, 05:19

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Our baby loves the silicone finger brush. He gets this dopey grin whenever I rub his gums/teeth with it.

(15 Dec '09, 15:53) Kiesa ♦

Our doctor suggested brushing our baby's gums when they started eating solid foods to prepare for when the teeth come in. So yes, I think you should go ahead and start brushing his little teeth and gums.

With our first baby we used a silicone finger brush, but with our second we just went ahead and used a regular baby/toddler tooth brush (because of course he wanted what his sister had) and he loved it in his mouth. Plus sometimes with the silicone one if they bite down on it it will hurt your finger! Watch out because those little teeth may be tiny but they are sharp! :) We use the baby non-flouride toothpaste.


answered 16 Dec '09, 01:07

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Our daughter is 19 months and she's been brushing her teeth since around her first birthday. She has a Hello Kitty electric toothbrush and she likes to hold it herself. We started with just the brush, but now we put a gum cleaner gel on it. Sometimes one of us will help her get the back gums, but most of the time she just does it herself.

I doubt that it's critical that her teeth are brushed at this age, but she's forming a great habit. We've made it part of her bedtime routine. Tonight she told me when she wanted to go brush her teeth. (We've been teaching her sign language, so she knows how to tell me things like that!)


answered 31 Dec '09, 03:49

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Dennis Palmer
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You may want to find out what the fluoride levels in your tap water are before deciding whether to buy specially fluorinated water. There is an excellent article on a US government website about safety and fluoride. Includes the importance of supervising tooth brushing to ensure that no fluoridated toothpaste is swallowed and tells you what the recommended levels of fluoride in water are.


answered 16 Dec '09, 18:59

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Meg Stephenson
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Our pediatrician prescribed vitamin drops that contain fluoride for when the little one started to sprout teeth, as our local water supply does not have fluoride supplementation. You may want to ask your ped about this as well.


answered 31 Dec '09, 16:04

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You can start wiping their mouth out before solid foods. Some have suggested that this helps prepare them for when you have to clean their mouth after teething.

Once they start on solid foods, you don't need to clean their mouths yet, but it isn't a bad idea. You can use a wet cloth and gently wipe their gums (just one swipe, top and bottom). This will help keep bacteria in check for when they do start cutting teeth (which is an open would and could get infected). Once the teeth are in, you can use a finger toothbrush or a child's toothbrush. If you use toothpaste, get one that is fluoride free (which means it's safe if they swallow it). There are kids toothpastes that have fluoride, so double check before purchasing it. Oral B makes a little starter kit that has a small toothbrush and fluoride free paste.

Once they start getting teeth, you'll want to make sure they are getting fluoride to help them stay nice and healthy. Depending on your child's age, and pediatrician's recommendation, you can give them nursery water (found at the grocery store) either straight or use it to make bottle if your child is taking formula.


answered 16 Dec '09, 13:57

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Christina Carey
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edited 31 Dec '09, 19:16

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Tammy ♦♦

Hi Christna and welcome to moms4mom.com. We are trying to differentiate ourselves from other parenting forums by adhering to to the back it up principal: http://moms4.mom.com/back-it-up. There are a lot of statements in your response that are stated as fact, I have edited your response in order to provide a reference. Things like personal experience, conversations with other parents or professionals would also be appropriate as references.

(31 Dec '09, 19:21) Tammy ♦♦

I recommed start brushing with a silicone brush as soon as she gets her first teeth. It's important to avoid formation of bacterial base that will seriously affect how easily her teeth will damage when she is older. We brush twice a day - on the evening we do it, in the morning the kids can practise it themselves. Do use tooth paste but you can consider whether you want to you use one with Fluoride or not.


answered 02 Jan '10, 12:52

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Hi. Good answer. Can you provide a further reading link for this "bacterial base" information? (Please see http://moms4mom.com/back-it-up)

(02 Jan '10, 14:08) Scott ♦♦

We've integrated brushing teeth with bath time, so that our 18m has her toothbrush (with a pea of toothpaste on it) whilst still in the bath. She happily sits there brushing them herself.

She's also started doing it in the mornings when Mummy does, effectively copying her. She started when her first teeth appeared and preferred to have a go herself, rather than us brushing them.


answered 05 Jan '10, 21:33

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Asked: 15 Dec '09, 04:41

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Last updated: 05 Jan '10, 21:33