Home > Baby > Health > Kids > Toddler > All the Questions You Might Have About Kids Teeth

Like how the hell you get toddlers to brush them…

TMC Expert: Dr Mira Morcos

Dr Mira Morcos is a part-time dentist, entrepreneur, mum of two toddlers, and Founder of Baby Boosa.

Dr Mira hosts regular Q&A sessions tailored for parents, focused on oral hygiene and dental care for little ones and these are the questions she’s asked the most…

When Should I Brush My Baby’s Teeth?

“Start brushing your baby’s teeth as soon as the first tooth makes an appearance.
This milestone is typically expected at around 6 months but can be earlier or later (often between 4-12 months). Brush two times a day, once in the morning and once before bedtime.”
“This helps establish a good oral hygiene routine early on, which is vital for preventing tooth decay.”

We love: Mushie Silicone Finger Toothbrushes as they are soft on your baby’s mouth and make it easier for parents when they’re little.

Mushie Silicone Finger Toothbrush

How Much Toothpaste to Use and The Best Ones…

“Use a rice-sized smear of fluoride toothpaste for under 3’s (and a pea-sized amount for 3-6-year-olds) with a small head and a soft-bristled toothbrush.”
“Use fluoridated toothpaste as fluoride helps to prevent cavities by strengthening the tooth enamel. It also helps in repairing the early stages of tooth decay.”
“When picking a toothpaste, ensure it has at least 1000ppm fluoride, the recommended concentration that is safe and effective in helping protect children’s teeth from cavities.”

We love: Green People Organic Children’s Toothpaste.

Green People Organic Children’s Toothpaste

How Do I Brush My Baby’s Teeth?

For Babies

“Place the brush at a 45-degree angle to the gum line and brush in gentle circular motions rather than side to side, ensuring you get to all the surfaces of the teeth.”
“The easiest position is to sit on the floor and place your baby on your lap with their head resting against your abdomen. This helps keep their head stable and gives you a good view of your baby’s teeth.”

For Toddlers

“Stand behind them and let them tilt their head slightly upwards.”
“It’s all about creating a calm and positive experience to encourage good oral hygiene habits from a young age.”

How Can I Stop My Baby Swallowing Toothpaste?

“Teaching a baby or toddler not to swallow toothpaste can be tricky. You can start by demonstrating how you spit out toothpaste.” Then you can try making spitting a fun game, for example, during bath time. A gradual, consistent approach can help teach your child the correct toothbrushing habits. It allows them to get accustomed to the routine playfully and positively, which can lead to better cooperation and, eventually, independent brushing.

When Should I Book My Baby’s First Dentist Appointment?

“It is recommended that a baby’s first check-up is when their first tooth comes or before their first birthday (whichever is first). This is to help build familiarity, ensure families get the best preventative advice and a healthy start. Don’t panic if your child is over one. It is never too late to start good dental habits. Just arrange an appointment with a dentist as soon as you can.”

When Should I Stop Using a Baby Bottle?

“It is recommended to phase out the baby bottle at around 12 months if your baby can sit up independently. This is due to the risk of dental decay with prolonged bottle use. Milk contains natural sugars, and the frequent exposure of teeth to any sugar-containing liquids through a bottle can cause decay. Also, the prolonged sucking motion needed for bottle feeding can cause dental misalignment. Transitioning away from the baby bottle can help promote better oral health and development. Starting the shift early can ease the process.”

How to Introduce a Cup to My Baby at 6 Months

“Using an open cup from the age of 6 months helps encourage the development of mature swallowing patterns and helps to foster hand-eye coordination. As discussed previously, prolonged bottle use can lead to dental decay, so practising early can help ease this transition.”

1. Begin with small amounts of water to minimise spills and make the learning process less daunting.
2. Initially, you may need to help your child by holding the cup for them. Gradually encourage them to hold the cup themselves with your assistance.
3. Offer the open cup at each mealtime to reinforce the new skill.
4. Make sure the learning environment is safe and easy to clean, as spills are part of the learning process (for my fellow ‘Cleanaholics’, consider this the perfect opportunity to embrace the chaos)
5. Every child is different, and mastering the open cup may take time. Be patient and keep the experience positive, praising your baby and yourself along the way!

We love: Baby Boosa’s My 1st Cups as they’re easy for babies to hold and made of soft silicone, which is gentle on their gums.

Baby Boosa My 1st Cup

My Toddler Refuses to Brush Their Teeth

“It can be challenging when toddlers resist tooth brushing. Creating positive associations and making toothbrushing fun can improve cooperation. Here are some ideas”

1. Pretend the toothbrush is an animal, like a kangaroo hopping from tooth to tooth or a train travelling along tracks to make brushing a playful adventure.

2. Make it into a game and ask your toddler to recall the foods they had during the day, then pretend to brush away the traces of each food.

3. Turn off the lights and use a flashlight to make toothbrushing a novel experience.

4. Hold their favourite cuddly toy in one hand with a toothbrush and let it ‘brush’ their teeth.

We love: Spotlight’s Kid Electric Toothbrushes. If you’re really struggling introducing a new toothbrush can help. These make toddlers feel like adults and bring the fun to brushing.

Spotlight Care Kids Monster Electric Toothbrush
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