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When Should You Start Brushing Your Child’s Teeth?

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Maintaining strict consistency with basic dental hygiene practices is of the utmost importance as your child’s teeth begin to erupt.

Think of it like planting seeds for good habits early on. When you make tooth brushing a positive experience from the get-go, it becomes something natural for your child. And trust me, down the road, they’ll thank you for it when they’re flashing those pearly whites!

Plus, here’s something interesting: getting into the habit of proper oral hygiene early can actually affect how your little one’s mouth develops, including their speech and jaw development. So, it’s not just about clean teeth – it’s about setting them up for a healthy smile and all-around well-being.

Gum Brushing, 0 Months And Beyond

The average age for a baby’s first tooth to erupt is between four and twelve months. Taking care of their oral health can start even before you see any signs of teeth.

An easy way to clean their teeth and gums is to use a damp, gentle cloth or a finger brush to gently scrub away plaque and germs. In addition to getting them acclimated to the sensation of having their teeth cleaned, this helps protect their developing baby teeth.

Baby’s First Tooth

It is advised that you clean your child’s teeth for two minutes, twice a day, as soon as they poke their little teeth through the gums. One of those times should be just before bed after they’ve had their last meal, so they don’t have milk or food sitting in their mouths all night long.

We recommend making an appointment with Kids Mile High, a Pediatric Dentistry in Thornton for babies either after their first tooth erupts or before their first birthday.

To further protect your fingers from those sharp new incisors, upgrade your toothbrush from a washcloth or finger brush to a child-sized one with soft bristles.

12–18 Months

Once you have your child’s first teeth, it is paramount for you to promote the practice of good oral hygiene. 

If you have not done so yet, add brushing their teeth twice a day in the morning and in the evening into your schedule. Plus, if you haven’t taken them to the dentist yet, now is the right time to book that appointment as well.

Depending on the number of teeth they have, you might want to think about using children’s floss. Pay extra attention to those back molars where food tends to get stuck. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your dentist for advice on flossing your baby’s teeth, including when they recommend starting based on your child’s individual needs.


As parents it’s our responsibility to lay out the groundwork for our child’s good dental health. There’s no need to wait until they have a full set of teeth to start brushing!

As with many skills, consistency is key, and it may take some time and patience to establish a proper tooth-brushing routine. 

But take heart, knowing that your efforts will pay off when your little one flashes a sparkling smile later in life. 

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