0-11 months

Your baby’s first teeth usually come in at about 6 months of age. Over the following few months your baby will continue to get their upper and lower front teeth.

  • Use a washcloth with a little water to clean your baby’s gums after each feeding.
  • Do not give your baby sugary drinks including fruit juice unless directed to do so by your baby’s doctor.
  • When your baby starts to get teeth, begin to use an infant toothbrush. Brush your baby’s teeth twice a day using a rice grain size or smear of fluoride toothpaste.

When your baby gets their first tooth, make an appointment to see your dentist. Your dentist can offer tips on teething, thumb sucking and home care.

Baby bottle tooth decay

Baby bottle tooth decay can happen when breast milk, formula or juice stays in a baby's mouth for a long period of time, such as when they are put to bed with a bottle. This tooth decay can cause your baby pain. To prevent baby bottle tooth decay, follow these steps:

  • Only give your baby a bottle during meals
  • Do not put your baby to bed with a bottle. Try a warm bath, rocking them to sleep, singing a soft song or playing music.
  • Avoid putting pacifiers or bottles in your mouth. Germs that cause decay can be passed from you to your baby.
  • Decay can develop as soon as teeth start to show in the mouth. Check your baby's teeth on a regular basis.

Pacifier tips

Sucking is a natural reflex. When a baby is not eating, a pacifier is better to use than a finger or thumb. Here are some important tips on using a pacifier:

  • Look at the pacifier every day to be sure it is not worn or torn. Replace torn pacifiers to avoid choking.
  • Wash the pacifier often with warm soapy water.