Brush your child’s teeth twice a day as soon as the first tooth comes in.
Use a soft bristled toothbrush small enough for a baby with either plain water or a small amount of non-fluoridated toothpaste. Toothpaste containing fluoride can be used when your child is old enough to spit.
It is normal for your child to cry as you first start brushing his or her teeth. Children also cry for many other things, for example, haircuts and baths. Your child will eventually learn to appreciate this as daily routine, and will enjoy the attention.
Avoid putting your child to bed with a bottle or a sippy cup filled with milk, formula, juice, or any other sweetened liquid. Only water is acceptable as a liquid if your child needs something to go to sleep with. Refined as well as natural sugars from fluids other than water will form a residue on your child’s teeth that encourages oral bacteria to produce cavity-causing acids.
During the breast-feeding phase, wipe your child’s teeth with a damp washcloth as soon as he or she has finished each feeding.