Oral Health Tips for Ages 6 Months Old to 3 Years Old

Kids oral care differs at each stage of childhood, and the sooner you begin caring for your child’s teeth, the healthier they will be. You don’t have to wait for your baby’s first teeth to appear to begin caring for their teeth. Here are some oral health tips you can start with your baby as early as six months old.


Oral care during the teething phase

Most children have 20 baby teeth that appear around six months. The lower central incisors emerge between the ages of four and seven months. The final teeth, the second upper and lower molars appear between 2 and 3 years old.

The best time to see a children’s dentist is when the first tooth appears or by 12 months of age, whichever comes first. Dentists recommend that children have regular dental check-ups every six to 12 months.

How to clean infants during the teething phase:

  • Clean your baby’s gums after feeding. Cradle them in one arm and use your free hand to clean them.
  • Wrap a soft, moist washcloth around your index finger and gently massage the gums.
  • Do not allow your baby to go to sleep with a bottle.

Oral health tips for six months to three years old

When your child’s first tooth appears, switch to a soft-bristled baby toothbrush without toothpaste. Continue to massage the gums. Brush your baby’s teeth and gums twice daily for no more than two minutes. Consult with your doctor about fluoride supplements for your child.

Make healthy eating choices for your baby, and avoid giving them sugary and sticky foods.

When your child is old enough to spit, put a pea-sized amount of children’s toothpaste on their toothbrush. If you use fluoridated toothpaste, don’t encourage them to rinse their mouth with water too much after brushing to ensure the fluoride continues protecting their teeth.

Flossing is vital once all your child’s teeth have erupted, grown out, and begun to touch each other.


Concerns and care

Tooth decay

Tooth decay can begin even before the first tooth erupts. Keeping sugar consumption to the bare minimum throughout your child’s development can help prevent tooth decay.

Delayed tooth eruption

Delayed tooth eruptions can cause difficulty eating nutritious and well–balanced meals. If your child’s teeth don’t erupt, it’s crucial that they are monitored with regular dental exams. The problem could be a sign of potential dental issues or a medical condition.

Pacifiers and thumb sucking

Babies use pacifiers and thumb-sucking to soothe themselves. But they can lead to dental problems like misaligned teeth and jaw and palate problems. The Canadian Pediatric Society recommends starting to wean your child off their pacifier – even orthopedic pacifiers by 12 months of age. The recommended way to accomplish this is to reduce your child’s pacifier access gradually.

Bottles while sleeping

This bad habit should never be encouraged in the first place. Babies who sleep with a bottle produce less saliva to protect their teeth while they sleep. Furthermore, this practice can result in rapid tooth decay. Make the transition easier by providing a Sippy cup instead of a bottle before bedtime. A warm bath and a bedtime story can help them gradually forget about their bottle.


The earlier you start your kids oral care, the healthier their gums and teeth will be. Starting young can also help them develop a positive attitude toward oral hygiene. Finally, regular dental visits with a children’s dentist are necessary to monitor your baby’s oral health throughout childhood.

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