Baby tooth care

Brushing A Baby's Teeth - Dr. Aaron D. Johnson (April 2019).


When should I start brushing my baby?

Brush twice a day as soon as your baby's first tooth is announced (PHE 2014). So your child can slowly get used to the importance of dental hygiene.

Most often, the first tooth in babies is the lower front tooth, which pushes through around the sixth month of life. And that's just an average. There are babies born with the first tooth and others who have their time until their first birthday (NHS 2014a).

At about two and a half years, your child will have 20 deciduous teeth (BDHF nd, NHS 2014a).

This may seem like a long time, but you should help your child to brush their teeth by the age of seven. Until then, it simply can not brush its teeth thoroughly on its own (BDHF nd, NHS 2014b, PHE 2014).

Should I buy a toothbrush for my baby?

At the beginning, a piece of soft cloth is enough. There is also a kind of fingerling made of silicone with soft nubs on it, you can distribute some baby toothpaste on it. But it works without it (NHS 2014b). Gently wipe over your baby's first tooth.

If you prefer to use a toothbrush, then choose a very soft one with a small brush head (BDHF nd). So you can thoroughly and easily clean all the teeth in the small mouth. Usually the appropriate age is indicated on the packages of toothbrushes.

Every one to three months the toothbrush should be changed (PHE 2014). A sure sign that the brush should be changed: The bristles bend outwards.

Which toothpaste is suitable for my baby?

After consultation with your pediatrician, choose a special fluoride-containing toothpaste to prevent tooth decay for babies. Please note the fluoride content in the package leaflet, which is different in age:

  • Up to the age of six, the fluorine content should be 1, 000 ppm (parts per million - total daily fluoride intake 0, 05-0, 07 mg F / kg body weight ) (BDHF nd, NHS 2014c, PHE 2014).
  • Your child should use their own toothpaste with the appropriate fluoride content by the age of six. The family toothpaste is not suitable because its fluoride content is between 1, 350 ppm and 1,500 ppm (BDHF nd, NHS 2014c, PHE 2014).

How much toothpaste should I apply?

Cover half the toothbrush with a gauzy film of baby toothpaste. That's enough.

Have your child spit out the rest of the toothpaste (BDHF nd, NHS 2014c) and do not rinse his mouth (NHS 2014c, PHE 2014).This is how the toothpaste can be even more effective (NHS 2014b, PHE 2014). Be patient, it will take a while for your child to get the hang of it. For the time being, it's all about getting used to this ritual and learning how important dental hygiene is - for the rest of his life.

Do not let your baby nibble on toothpaste, it should know that toothpaste is not a food (PHE 2014: 17). Therefore, do not choose a toothpaste with fruit flavor or sugar content. Excessive levels of fluoride can also damage your child's teeth, even causing nausea or causing diarrhea. Talk to your dentist about the choice of toothpaste.

How do I clean my baby's teeth?

Try brushing your baby twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening as you brush your teeth (BDHF nd, NHS 2014d, PHE 2014). The evening brushing should take place after the last meal (NHS 2014d).

If you put your baby on your lap with your back to you, you can brush your teeth more comfortably for both (NHS 2014b). (This position is also suitable for a toddler later.) Read more tips on how to brush your fidgety toddler's teeth.

Brush the teeth with small, gentle movements, from the gum to the tooth (from red to white) Remember that the gums are very sensitive in teething phases, so you need to clean them very gently.

If your child does not want to stop to brush their teeth, give them their own toothbrush to hold in their hands Then it can try brushing on its own or you can hold it up.

Let your baby watch as often as possible as you brush your teeth, so it gets used to the toothbrushing ritual.

You Dentist Your dentist can certainly help you with more tips.

When should I go with my baby to the dentist?

First, it is recommended to take your baby with you on each of your dental visits h on the practice, the types of treatment and the specific odor of a dentist (NHS 2014b).

If you're scared of having a dentist appointment, make an extra appointment for your baby so it will not feel your anxiety and eventually take over.

Schedule an appointment as soon as the first deciduous tooth is visible (NHS 2014d).

How can I further protect my child's teeth?

The most common cause of tooth decay is sugar. It is not only the amount of sugar that counts, but also how often your child gets sugary. How often does your child consume sugar in solid or liquid form during the day (BDHF nd, NHS 2014b, PHE 2014)?

Every sugar treat damages the enamel of your child. Within a few hours (PHE 2014: 33-4), the enamel can regenerate again.However, if sugar is eaten again during this period, the cleaning process will not work properly and the teeth will be permanently damaged.

Only offer food and drinks containing sugar to your child during meals, including dried fruits and fresh fruit juices (PHE 2014: 33). This leaves some hours between meals during which the self-cleaning process can be undisturbed (NHS 2014b, PHE 2014: 33-4).

If you want to offer your child an intermediate snack, it is best to choose cheese or vegetables (BDHF nd). For more information read our article on tooth-friendly snacks.

How to help your child keep his teeth healthy:

  • Feed your baby only with breastmilk, baby or baby milk or boiled, chilled water.
  • Do not give him a fruit syrup, juice spritzers, freshly squeezed juice, flavored milk and carbonated drinks. All these drinks have a high sugar content and can cause tooth decay.
  • Offer your child a drinking cup from the age of six. After the first birthday, it should finally say goodbye to the bottle during the day and only drink more milk or boiled water at night.
  • Prepare healthy and balanced meals for your child. Encourage your darling to taste nutritious foods, such as: B. different vegetables and pasta without additional addition of sugar.
  • If you do not cook by yourself but buy jars, make sure they're sugar free or cooked without added sugar. Fructose, glucose and lactose are also sugars that can harm your child's teeth.
  • If your child needs to take medication, choose sugar-free products.
  • (BDHF nd, NHS 2014b, PHE 2014)

Does my baby need extra fluoride?

It's unlikely that your child needs extra fluoride. Only give fluoride to your child if they have been prescribed by a doctor or if the dentist considers it useful and applies it directly (PHE 2014).

Too much fluoride can cause poisoning that causes white spots or speckles on the teeth.

Where can I find additional information about this topic?

  • Child Health info. de.
  • AOK. If your baby has teething problems, read our article on how to relieve the pain.


BDHF. nd. Children's teeth. British Dental Health Foundation.

NHS. 2014a. Teething symptoms and how babies' teeth emerge. NHS Choices, Health A-Z.

NHS. 2014b. Looking after your infant's teeth . NHS Choices, Health A-Z.

NHS. 2014c. fluorides. NHS Choices, Health A-Z

NHS. 2014d. How can I look after my child's teeth? NHS Choices, Health A-Z

PHE., 2014. Delivering better oral health: an evidence-based toolkit for prevention, 3rd edition. Public Health England.

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