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How to Care for your Baby's First Tooth

A baby's first tooth is an exciting milestone.  As cute as those gummy smiles are, little grins with a couple random teeth are pretty precious too.  

While baby teeth don't follow a strict schedule, this chart will give you an idea of when to expect each tooth.   

Fortunately, the care of baby teeth is very simple at this early stage.


baby first tooth

The most important thing you can do to keep your baby's teeth healthy is to make sure he or she is not getting too much sugar.  Even apple juice is not the best.  

Though they may seem healthy, fruit juices are full of sugar and are not a necessary part of your baby's diet.  Babies should only drink milk or water as a rule.  

Juices fill them up without providing much nutrition and put their teeth at risk.  Foods with refined sugar should also be kept to a minimum but sugary liquids are the worst thing for teeth.

Limit the time that teeth are exposed to milk or food.  Babies and toddlers who are allowed to have a constant supply of milk or juice are more likely to have cavities in their baby teeth. 

Going to sleep while sucking on a bottle is a good way to soothe a fussy baby but it is not so good for the health of their teeth.  

Help your baby find another way to soothe themself to sleep.  Baby bottle tooth decay occurs because babies are allowed to drift off to sleep while sucking on their bottle.  

A pacifier or favorite blanket are  good alternatives.  If all else fails, a bottle with water is better than milk or formula.


Teeth brushing is not necessary for the first months.  Gently cleaning the teeth with your finger wrapped in a clean wet washcloth is a good way to remove plaque and get your baby used to having their teeth cleaned.  

A toothbrush is too big and it is awkward to use on a baby.

Once they have some teeth on the upper and lower arch you can start to introduce brushing with a very soft and very small toothbrush.  

You don't need toothpaste at first. If you want to add toothpaste be sure to use a training toothpaste without fluoride.

Don't put too much paste on the brush, just a smear is all you need.  Have your toddler practice spitting the toothpaste out after you brush.

Once you are sure they are not swallowing toothpaste you can switch to one with fluoride. 

Learn how to choose a children's toothpaste here.

The teething years can really test your parenting skills.  Each new tooth is reason to celebrate.

I like Larry the cucumber's song Happy Toothday.

If you are feeling a little sleep deprived you will appreciate the humor in this video even more.

With any luck at all your baby will get more than one tooth:)

Now's  a good time to make sure you know how to keep your baby's new tooth healthy.  

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