Smiling Baby

Healthy smiles begin early. Here are three simple ways to keep your baby's teeth clean, healthy and free from tooth decay.

Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste

  • Before teeth appear, wipe your baby’s gums at least once daily with a clean, damp cloth.
  • Once baby teeth appear, use a soft bristle toothbrush to gently brush your baby’s teeth.
  • Use a rice-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Increase the amount of toothpaste to a pea sized amount by 36 months.

Encourage drinking from a cup

  • Introduce a regular cup between six to 12 months of age. By one year of age, your child should be routinely drinking from a cup without a lid.
  • A good time to let your baby practice drinking from a cup is at meal times.
  • Juice, formula, milk and other sweetened drinks have sugars that can cause tooth decay. Sipping these liquids during naps, overnight or in-between meals and snacks can increase your child’s risk for tooth decay. Water is a good choice to offer at any time, as it will not harm the teeth

First dental visit

  • It is important for your child to see an oral health professional at around one year of age or within six months of getting their first tooth. Tooth decay can start as soon as baby teeth start coming in. That is why it is important for parents to adopt healthy dental practices early.

Find more information about how to care for your baby’s teeth.


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