When and how should I start brushing my baby's teeth? Teeth & Tooth Care

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mom brushing baby's teeth with a toothbrush
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Not sure whether to start brushing baby's gums or wait for his very first tooth to come in? Get expert advice and see how and when other moms started to brush their little one's chompers. 

It's Never Too Early

"As soon as you feel comfortable putting a baby toothbrush in your child's mouth, you can start brushing. The sooner you start, the easier it will be for your child to get into the habit and to understand that the toothbrush is meant to go inside the mouth. Brushing your baby's gums may even help ease teething pain! Choose a toothbrush and toothpaste that's specifically designed for your child's age group." -- April Patterson, DDS, owner of Dr. Patty's Dental Boutique and Spa, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Gums Need a Wipe-Down

"When my son was only a few months old, I started wiping his gums during bath time. He's now 18 months and I'm trying to get him to help me brush his teeth. He fights it and would much rather comb his hair with his toothbrush!"

Start When the First Tooth Appears

"I started brushing my little girl's teeth when her first few teeth came in, at about 3 months. I wanted her to get used to the feeling of brushing her teeth and she's loved it ever since."

I Waited Until They Start Solids

"When my kids were babies, I just used water and a finger brush or a wash rag. Once they start solids, you can use an infant toothbrush (soft bristles) with infant toothpaste."

Try This for No-Fuss Brushing

"I find the best way to keep my son interested in brushing is to turn it into a game. I let him hold the brush and then Mommy comes in for the last sweep to kill all the bugs. I alternate between two brushes of his favorite fictional superheroes. He loves it."

The advice on CafeMom aims to educate, inform, and provide a range of solutions to the issues moms care about. It is not a substitute for consultation with a medical professional or treatment for a specific condition. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified professional. Please contact your health-care provider with questions and concerns.