Your baby's first teeth - aka milk teeth - might only be temporary, but it's still important to take care of them.
Starting oral care from an early age is an important step to creating a life-long habit. Tooth brushing can begin as soon as the baby's first tooth pokes through the gums. The NHS states that pediatric dentists recommend cleaning baby's gums after feedings, which helps fight bacterial growth and promotes good oral health.
Starting to play and practise with toothbrushes and toothpaste, even before any teeth appear, is also great for getting your little one used to the feeling. There are some great products to help your baby get used to feeling something in their mouths - which, you can imagine, is a bit weird to start with.
What is the best way to brush your baby's teeth?
Buying a high-quality toothbrush for your baby is a good way to ensure you are doing it correctly.
You will also need to use a specific toothpaste for your baby. Brushing gently both sides of each teeth and gums is important. Like Katie Piper does with her daughter Belle, create a routine around it, doing it at least twice a day. Remember to go easy and make the experience a calming and fun one - it's a good idea to let your little one play around with the toothbrush, so they can familiarise themselves.
Even before your baby’s first tooth pops through, it’s a good idea to start brushing, so that they get used to the sensation. Twice a day, smear a tiny amount of low-fluoride toothpaste on a baby toothbrush and gently brush in a circular motion. Don’t rinse, the toothpaste works better if it stays in their mouth. Encourage them to join in with the brushing – even if it’s simply chewing the brush!
The best first toothbrushes for your baby UK 2021
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To help you find your baby's first toothbrush, we have rounded up the best baby toothbrushes you can buy today. One top tip to help your little one get used to toothbrushing is to let them choose their brush - it'll give them a boost of confidence and ownership and one of these is sure to tickle their fancy.
LilGoo Banana Baby Teether and Finger Toothbrush
This is a top product made from 100% food-grade silicone and is BPA free. The set comes with one teether and two-finger toothbrushes. The banana is a great training tool as it's easy for little ones to grasp and place into their mouth to investigate; you can also pop the brushes on your fingers to get into baby's mouth and brush those early milk teeth.
MAM Oral Care Rabbit Cloth
Best baby teeth cleaning cloth
This is a different tool to help you to clean your baby's mouth before the first tooth appears. This rabbit-shaped cloth will massage sensitive gums, making back areas reachable. Simply slip your fingers in the ears and go! It will also help your little one get used to having something poking in their mouth and around their gums (it can also be helpful to ease the pain of teething). This cloth is machine washable, BPA-free and comes in pink or blue.
MAM Learn to Brush Toothbrush Set
Best baby toothbrush set
MAM Learn to Brush Toothbrush Set comes with two brushes, one with a long handle for baby and parent to brush together and one with a short and compact handle for children that can brush independently.
Both round heads adapt perfectly to baby's mouth. It cleverly comes with red bristles that indicate the proper amount of toothpaste to use.
Wisdom Step By Step Super Soft Toothbrush
Best value baby toothbrush
This Wisdom Step By Step Super Soft Toothbrush is designed for use from birth to two years. It's a combination of toothbrush and teething ring, with a short neck for brushing safely and textured sections to relieve gum irritation. It's a great little first toothbrush with an easy-to-grip handle for small hands.
NUK Training Toothbrush Set
Best baby training toothbrush
This toothbrush can be used from 6 months. The set includes two brushes: a cleaning trainer and a brushing trainer. The cleaning trainer is designed to be chewed and gently cleans and massages the gums and palate; the brushing trainer helps children get used to a toothbrush and gently cleans their first teeth.
Brush-Baby Baby Sonic Electric Toothbrush
Best baby electric toothbrush
Awarded Silver at the 2015 Mu0026B Awards for Best Bathtime Product
This is a best-seller on Amazon, most likely due to its super-easy handling. This toothbrush comes with a tiny brush head with super-soft bristles, with a timer for two minutes, and a pulse every 30 seconds. It's guaranteed to make teeth-brushing more fun for your little one with a fun light-up feature, perfect for kids aged 0-26 months. Light, small and gentle for little mouths, they can pretend to brush like Mum and Dad with their very own electric brush.
This package includes a replacement brush head and 1 x AAA battery.
Brush-Baby Dental Wipes
Best baby dental wipes
This is a box of 28 individually hygienically wrapped dental wipes, suitable for babies from 0-16 months. These soft, disposable wipes are gently formulated and uniquely textured to help cleanse delicate gums and first baby teeth with tooth-friendly ingredient Xylitol. Great for carrying on the go to keep your little one's mouth clean, the wipes will wrap around any size finger for easy cleaning.
Brush-Baby Chewable Toothbrush
Best chewable toothbrush
Shortlisted in the 2014 and 2017 M&B Awards for Best Bathtime Product
Designed by a dentist, Brush-Baby's Chewable Toothbrush helps to clean teeth, massage gums and soothe teething gums as it is chewed. The H-shaped head is filled with soft silicone bristles that help to clean all surfaces of the top and bottom teeth and gums as it is chewed. It's a brilliant idea – just add toothpaste and let your baby gnaw away. It’s dishwasher friendly, easy for babies to hold and can also be used to apply the teething gel.
Mr.Van Baby Teether
Best baby teether
This fun-shaped toothbrush can be used as a teether, or as a finger toothbrush. It comes with an ergonomically shaped handle, which is easy for little ones to grip and has been recommended by dentists and liked by parents. Suitable for 0-24 months, this toothbrush will help encourage good oral hygiene early with thick bristles to brush teeth and round points to massage sore teething gums.
Brush-Baby Childrens Applemint Toothpaste
Best baby toothpaste
Awarded Silver at the 2019 M&B Awards for Best Bathtime Product
Brush-Baby Teething Toothpaste is low in fluoride which helps strengthen enamel and makes it safer for swallowing. It's flavoured 'Applemint' to suit infant tastes and contains chamomile to soothe teething gums. It's the perfect combination to introduce brushing to teething babies and is suitable from 0-2 years.
Our mum tester Dawn said, "I would recommend this teething toothpaste as it has honestly made such a difference to my son. Teething is no longer dreaded in this house. I am just gutted I didn't discover this when my first children were born. We've had a lot of sleepless nights over the years with teething but that is now a thing of the past."
Weleda Children Tooth Gel
Best baby tooth gel
Weleda is all about natural care, and this product promises to give oral protection for baby teeth with extracts of organic calendula flowers to keep gums healthy. Mild in flavour, this children's tooth gel looks after new and developing teeth and can be applied using one of these recommended brushes on our list.
Brush-Baby First FlossBrush
Best baby tooth brush with deep clean bristles
Awarded Gold at the 2020 M&B Awards for Best Bathtime Product
Brush-Baby's First FlossBrush is the ideal toothbrush to get your little one started. It's a fun design while being short and easy for them to hold onto. Parents can feel assured as the First FlossBrush has soft 'deep clean' bristles, so they won't be too hard on their teeth.
Our mum tester Jasmine said: "My daughter is 22 months old and can be a struggle to get her to brush her teeth. This toothbrush worked really well, and she really enjoyed holding it and trying to brush her own teeth. It doesn’t take as long now to brush her teeth morning and night. She won’t let me hold the toothbrush at all because she likes it so much!"
Vicloon Baby and Toddler Toothbrush
As recommended by the M&B Awards
This uniquely cute soft-silicone toothbrush is great for cleaning your little one's mouth thoroughly. The 360-degree rotating brush head helps to clean the mouth, gums and tongue with different brush heads to suit your baby's teething stage. The adorable koala design is easy to grip, soft and the head works well as a buffer to prevent your baby from putting it too far into their mouth.
Wild & Stone Organic Baby Bamboo Toothbrush
Best bamboo toothbrush
If you're looking for a sustainable, plastic-free toothbrush, this is the pick for you! These 100 per cent biodegradable, BPA free bamboo toothbrushes are stylish and designed specifically for babies. They have soft bristles, easy to grip handles and a smaller brush head. This pack of 4 contains a mix of fun coloured handles to choose from.
When do you make your baby’s first dentist appointment?
The earlier the better as you need to learn how to look after your baby’s teeth and gums as soon as they first appear. A good way to make your baby get used to this is by taking them along with you when you visit the dentist. Even though your little one will lose their first teeth, they are important for your baby's development, helping with food chewing and speech development.
The best baby and toddler toothpaste
Now that you have the right tools to help your bubba clean their teeth, it's essential to find the right toothpaste. From ensuring that your child uses a pea-size amount to brush with, to picking a kids' toothpaste with less fluoride, there are lots of things to consider. For more information and advice, read our guide to the best toddler toothpastes to keep those baby teeth clean and bright.