How to Brush Baby Teeth

Helping your children create positive oral health habits will help them have a lifetime of healthy teeth. But if you’re wondering when do I start brushing my child’s teeth and how do I brush them effectively—you’re not alone. At Wilderness Station Pediatric Dentistry, we understand that brushing your child’s teeth can be challenging so we’ve created these tips on brushing baby teeth.

When Should I Start Brushing My Child’s Teeth?

  • No baby teeth: Clean your baby’s mouth and gums with a soft, damp cloth. You can also help minimize the bacteria and sugar your child consumes by never dipping pacifiers in anything sweet and by not cleaning the pacifier with your own mouth.
  • First baby tooth erupts: Begin using a small-headed, soft-bristled toothbrush to brush your child’s teeth.
  • Baby teeth ages under 3: Apply a small amount of toothpaste (about the size of a grain of rice) and gently brush in a circular motion on the teeth and gums, for two minutes.
  • Baby teeth ages 3+: Apply a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste before brushing in tiny circles for two minutes. After brushing, have your child spit out any excess toothpaste.

We recommend that you brush twice a day (morning and before bedtime), start flossing as soon as your child has two teeth that are touching, and change to a new toothbrush every 3-4 months.

Make Brushing Fun

Help create positive brushing experiences by making the overall experience more fun for your child.

  1. Let them pick out a soft-bristled, child-sized toothbrush that they love.
  2. Bring a favorite toy in while brushing and let your child practice brushing the toy’s teeth (with just the toothbrush, no toothpaste).
  3. Take turns brushing your child’s teeth. If you start brushing, after one minute, let them try brushing either with your help or on their own. This will help them feel more involved and confident about brushing on their own when they get to that stage.
  4. Play a fun song that lasts about two minutes. This helps them understand how long they will have to brush and that once the song is over, it’s time to rinse.
  5. Give praise after brushing. Help encourage your child and create positive experiences by praising your child after each brushing.


Wilderness Station Pediatric Dentistry is committed to keeping even the smallest smiles in Lincoln, NE as healthy as they can be. Dr. Marty can help educate parents and children so everyone feels confident knowing when to start brushing baby teeth, how to brush effectively, and how to make brushing teeth a fun activity. Schedule your child’s next check-up or call our office with any questions.

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Wilderness Station Pediatric Dentistry

8020 S 13th St.
Lincoln, NE 68512
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Monday - Thursday: 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
Friday: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm (Reception Only)





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