Children's dental care

Cleaning children's teeth

  • Start cleaning your baby’s teeth as soon as they come through using a clean cloth or a small, soft toothbrush
  • Clean your baby’s teeth twice a day – each morning and before bed at night
  • Children under 8 years will need some help brushing their teeth.


  • No need to use toothpaste until your baby is 18 months old
  • For children aged 18 months to five years, use a pea size amount of low fluoride children’s toothpaste
  • For children aged 6 years up, use a pea size amount of adult fluoride toothpaste
  • Encourage your child to child to spit toothpaste out – but don’t rinse.

Tips to stop your child from getting tooth decay

  • Breast milk is best. If you are not breast feeding use infant formula
  • If your baby has a dummy, do not put anything sweet on it
  • Clean your baby’s dummy under running water, not in your mouth
  • Put your baby to bed without a bottle
  • Do not put anything sweet in baby’s bottle or cup.

If you are bottle feeding

  • Take the bottle way when your child has finished feeding
  • Baby should stop using the bottle by 1 year of age.

Food and drinks

Look for foods that are good for young teeth:

  • Choose healthy snacks such as fruit, vegetables, plain yoghurt and cheese
  • Plain tap water is the best drink
  • Avoid soft drinks, energy drinks, flavoured milk and cordial
  • Limit juices
  • Reduce sweet biscuits, ice cream and cakes.

Lift the lip

  • Lift your baby’s top lip once a month to look for early signs of decay
  • White lines along the gum line can be the beginning of tooth decay
  • If identified early, the progress of decay can be prevented
  • Please seek dental advice if you notice any changes in your baby’s teeth
  • You can make an appointment for your child from 12 months of age. To request an appointment see our online booking request page

Baby tooth eruption chart

  • if your baby has teething pain, baby can suck on a clean, cold wet cloth or teething ring
  • where possible, choose sugar free medicines
  • ask your dental professional for further advice

Show how and what baby teeth come through

This is a guide only, times and order vary.