For babies and toddlers to grow and thrive, baby oral care is essential. Every baby is born with 20 baby teeth under their gums. By about six to seven months old, a child's first teeth begin to appear. By about two and a half years old, a child will have the full set of ten teeth on the top and ten teeth on the bottom gum. They will be aged 12 or older before the last baby tooth falls out. Baby oral care is qualified as care between the age of 0-2. 

Why Baby Oral Care Is Important

Ensuring your child has the best start in life includes caring for their oral health from the very beginning. Studies have shown that poor dental health in infants may impact their development and growth, breathing, speaking, smiling, and ability to adapt to social situations. The sooner a good oral care routine is instilled, the better oral health will be for your child in the future. You can help prevent your baby from getting cavities or developing Baby Bottle Tooth Decay by starting a regular oral care routine with your baby within the first few days after they are born.

How To Care For Your Baby's Teeth

It’s important to consider your baby’s oral care from birth. These good habits will set them up with healthy mouths, teeth, and gums for their lifetime. 

0-6 Months

While your baby does not have teeth above the gum line at this early stage, at Spotlight Oral Care, we recommend cleaning baby's gums twice a day with a clean, soft washcloth or gauze before teeth appear. Nighttime cleaning is vital to ensure any food left on gums or teeth is wiped away to prevent decay. We do not recommend the use of toothpaste below the age of 2 years. 

6 Months to 2 Years

From 6-7 months onward, teeth will start to appear in the gums. This is also the time when infants will start to ingest solid foods. Excellent, consistent oral care for the next 18 months is essential in ensuring teeth grow and develop healthily and strong. Continue to clean when teeth begin to come in, brushing them gently with a children’s toothbrush and water. 


While teeth don't usually appear until your baby is 6 months or later, they may show signs of teething from about 13 weeks. Signs include red, flushed cheeks, dribbling, chewing on their fists or toys more than usual, sore or tender gums, and nappy rash. To ease their discomfort, try a cool teething ring, give them a cool drink to keep them hydrated and ease sore gums, and give them healthy foods like breadsticks and carrot sticks to chew on.

Fluoride & Calcium 

Fluoridated water for babies is vital. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends water fluoridation as a safe and effective way to prevent tooth decay with data showing that community water fluoridation can reduce tooth decay by 25%. Public water supplies contain Fluoride, but you can always check with your provider to be sure. Fluoride protects teeth from decay, and this is as important in infants as it is at any other age. 

Calcium intake is also important to help build strong teeth, so ensure your baby’s diet contains Calcium-rich foods like milk and cheese.

Baby & Toddler Dentist Check-Ups

After 6 months, your baby should see a dentist, and begin a regular dental check-up routine. This will ensure any problems will be cared for professionally and a solid oral care routine is instilled so that they can enjoy good oral health for the rest of their lives. 

Regular dental check-ups are vital for babies and infants to care and monitor their mouths and teeth as they evolve and develop. When it comes to preventing cavities and infections and guiding you, as a parent, through their specific oral care needs, dentists always know best. If you wait until your child is complaining of dental pain, they will generally end up having to receive far more invasive treatment which is more painful and expensive. Prevention is key. 

Baby Teeth Schedule & Baby Teeth Time Chart

Using a Baby Teeth Schedule or Baby Teeth Time Chart can help you to keep track of tooth eruption and development. A Baby Teeth Chart can help you to document which teeth have grown in. For many babies, the bottom front teeth appear first at around 6 months of age, followed by the top front teeth which can appear around 8 to 12 months.

Main Concerns For Baby's Teeth

Baby Teeth Cavities 

Sugary food and drinks damage your baby's teeth and cause cavities and decay. Never put sweet drinks including fruit juice into the bottle and never add sugar, syrup, or anything sweet to your baby's foods. If your baby uses a soother, never dip it in sugar, syrup, honey, or anything sweet. It goes without saying that sugar is the root cause of many dental issues for children, so limiting junk food is key. Sugar is also known as sucrose, glucose, fructose, and maltose so always check the labels of food to ensure there are no hidden sugars contained. 

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay usually occurs in the upper front teeth. Bottles with juices or sugary drinks, even when diluted with water, should never be given to babies or infants when going to bed as they can cause bacteria to form and tooth decay to occur. Baby bottle tooth decay can also occur when bacteria from a parent is passed on to an infant or baby through the saliva. Avoid putting a feeding spoon or pacifier in your mouth before giving it to the baby to avoid bacteria being transferred. 

Baby Dental Trauma 

Tooth trauma is stressful at every age, but trauma to baby teeth and gums can affect both dental health and permanent tooth development irreparably. Dental trauma can happen due to a fall or injury to the mouth. Ensure your baby does not crawl or attempt to walk while they have anything in their mouth and instil a thorough and effective daily oral care routine to ensure teeth and gums are strong and healthy should a dental trauma occur. 

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