Q: From what age and how must I clean my baby’s teeth?
A: The most important thing to remember about children’s teeth is: Start brushing an infant’s teeth once they start to appear in the mouth!
Brushing an infant or very young child’s teeth is difficult. They generally don’t like it and try to pull away. You have to overcome this resistance even though it is likely to last until the child is about 2 years old. If you don’t make an effort, plaque will build up and decay will start. It is as simple as that!
There are no rules or easy solutions. If your baby does not like the brush, use gauze, a cloth or a towel wrapped around your finger. Be firm but gentle; hold the mouth open with a finger pushed in behind the back teeth if necessary. Don’t worry about toothpaste unless baby likes the taste and it makes the process easier! Toothpaste can be introduced later.
Please also see the questions on Infant Do’s and Don’ts, and on 'Bottle Baby' caries. Visit the section: Tooth Erruption Charts.
Remember: As soon as the first teeth start to appear in a baby’s mouth, plaque will start to form on the teeth, they will decay unless they are kept clean!