selective focus photography of child laughing
selective focus photography of child laughing

Mastering Baby's Oral Care: A Modern Dad's Guide to Brushing and Home Remedies

As a Modern Dad, your baby's health and well-being are top priorities. One crucial aspect of their overall health is oral care. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the why, when, and how of brushing your baby's teeth, while also delving into home remedies to address common oral health concerns. Remember, while these home remedies can be helpful, always consult your pediatrician for personalized advice.

7 min read

Note: This article is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Consult your pediatrician for personalized guidance.

Early oral care is the cornerstone of a lifetime of healthy smiles. It helps prevent dental issues, establishes positive oral hygiene habits, and promotes overall well-being for your little one.

Understanding the Importance of Early Oral Care

Start introducing oral care when your baby's first tooth appears, usually around six months. This stage marks the beginning of their oral care journey, setting the foundation for a lifetime of healthy habits.

However, up til 18 months, only use water on your baby's toothbrush. Make sure to select a baby toothbrush that is soft.

Incorporate toothbrushing into your baby's bedtime routine. Brushing before sleep not only removes accumulated plaque but also establishes a calming ritual that can ease your baby into a restful sleep.

When to Begin Brushing Baby's Teeth

$20.37 (2 Pack)

  • Naturally friendly natural apple flavored toddler training toothpaste. This clear gel gently cleans your little one's teeth and delicate gums.

  • Hello kids fluoride free training toothpaste is free from dyes, SLS, artificial sweeteners and flavors, triclosan and gluten. No brainer

  • Choose friendly. hello is vegan, never tested on animals (Leaping Bunny Certified) and made in the USA. Brush and greet freely

  • Ingredients: vegetable glycerin, sorbitol, purified water, aloe vera gel, hydrated silica, xylitol, erythritol, xanthan gum, flavor, calcium glycerophosphate (mineral), potassium sorbate and stevia rebaudiana leaf extract (sweetener).

$18.73 (3Pack)

  • This natural toothpaste contains Xylitol, Purified Water, Vegetable Glycerin (Coconut derived), Silica, Xanthan Gum, Potassium Sorbate (Naturally derived), Citric Acid

  • This fluoride-free toothpaste contains natural ingredients, such as Xylitol & Calendula, to help prevent cavities, soothe gums, & fight tooth decay, suitable from 6 months +

  • Made with organic fruit flavorings, natural ingredients, 40% Xylitol and free of fluoride, sugar, and artificial additives, it's a choice parents and kids can feel good about! Comes in flavorless.

Opt for a soft-bristled, baby-sized toothbrush. The soft bristles are gentle on delicate gums, and the small size ensures comfortable use.

For babies under 3 years old, they are unable to spit so they ingest whatever is in their toothpaste. Thus, it is even more important to choose natural ingredients and avoid fluorides and SLS.

Fluoride ingestion could cause cognitive issues in children and possibly even decreasing their IQ.

SLS is a detergent commonly found in most toothpastes but there’s really no reason to expose a baby’s delicate and developing oral environment to harsh detergents like SLS.

Choosing the Right Tools

1. Get Prepared

Gather the necessary items: a small baby toothbrush, fluoride-free toothpaste, a cup of water, and a clean cloth.

2. Choose a Comfortable Position

Hold your baby securely, either in your lap or lying down. Ensure you have good visibility and easy access to their mouth.

3. Wet the Toothbrush

Dampen the toothbrush in the cup of water.

4. Apply Toothpaste

For babies under two, use a smear of fluoride-free toothpaste. For those aged two and above, a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste is appropriate.

5. Brush Gently

Using a circular motion, gently brush your baby's teeth and gums. Pay extra attention to the back molars, where cavities often develop.

6. Encourage Participation

As your baby grows, encourage them to hold the toothbrush and mimic your actions. This not only fosters independence but also makes toothbrushing a positive experience.

The Step-by-Step Guide to Brushing

Teething Troubles

If teething causes discomfort, consider using a clean, cool teething ring before brushing to soothe sore gums. Additionally, a gentle gum massage with a clean finger can provide relief.

Resistance to Brushing

If your baby resists brushing, try incorporating a fun song, using a toothbrush with their favorite characters, or letting them choose their toothbrush to make the process enjoyable.

Also, it can be just as effective to use a damp cloth to wipe their teeth if they are resistant to brushing at first. With Aurora, it took a very long time to convince her to take a toothbrush but she was ok with a cloth.

Troubleshooting Common Challenges


  • TRAINING TOOTHBRUSH. Sized just right for small mouths and little fingers to help baby build the skills they need to reach independent brushing.

  • BABY’S FIRST TOOTHBRUSH. Super-soft bristles safely and gently clean baby’s first teeth and gums.

  • EASY-TO-GRIP. The soft comfort-grip handle is easy for little hands to hold.

  • GENTLE ON MOUTHS. Durable, yet soft material of the brush is gentle on sensitive mouths.

$12.50 (4 pack)

  • Wild & Stone’s mission is to create stylish, easy to adopt and usable alternatives to common plastic products around the home.

  • soft bristles, smaller heads and easy to grip handles, making them perfect for smaller mouths. Coloured handles to make brushing fun and for easy identification.

  • MOSO bamboo, toxin-free paint and DuPont nylon bristles. The vegan friendly BPA free nylon bristles we are using are the best available option right now and these bristles tend to be softer than their plastic counterparts.

1. Soothing Teething Pain

Home Remedy: Chilled Teething Rings or Washcloths

How it Helps: The cold sensation helps numb the gums, providing relief from teething discomfort.

2. Treating Gum Sensitivity

Home Remedy: Gentle Gum Massage

How it Helps: Using a clean finger, massage your baby's gums gently. This can alleviate gum sensitivity and promote oral health.

3. Addressing Bad Breath

Home Remedy: Hydration

How it Helps: Ensure your baby is adequately hydrated. Staying hydrated helps maintain a moist mouth, reducing the risk of bad breath.

4. Combating Thrush (Oral Candidiasis)

Home Remedy: Probiotic Yogurt

How it Helps: Probiotics in yogurt can help restore the balance of good bacteria in the mouth, potentially alleviating thrush symptoms.

5. Relieving Teething Pain Naturally

Home Remedy: Chamomile Tea

How it Helps: Chamomile has anti-inflammatory properties. Rubbing a chamomile tea-soaked cloth on your baby's gums may provide relief.

6. Addressing Minor Cuts or Irritation

Home Remedy: Aloe Vera Gel

How it Helps: For minor cuts or irritation, applying a small amount of aloe vera gel can have a soothing effect.

Home Remedies for Common Oral Health Concerns


  • Comforts growing babies as they develop

  • Chill teether comes filled with water and refrigerates

  • Tactile surfaces capture baby’s attention

  • Caterpillar ring teether is easy to hold

  • Travels wherever you and baby go

Creating a Routine

Consistency is key. Make toothbrushing and oral care a part of your baby's daily routine to establish good habits.

Regular Dental Check-ups

Schedule regular dental check-ups. The first visit can occur around your baby's first birthday, allowing the dentist to monitor their oral development.

Maintaining Consistency


By embracing the role of a Modern Dad in your baby's oral care journey, you're not only ensuring a radiant smile but also fostering a positive relationship with oral health.

  1. Make brushing an early and consistent habit.

  2. Damp cloth could be just as effective as a toothbrush

  3. Make sure to choose toothpaste carefully!

Remember, while these home remedies can be beneficial, always consult your pediatrician for personalized advice. Every baby is unique, and their oral care needs may vary.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. When should I start brushing my baby's teeth, and how often should I do it?

Start brushing your baby's teeth as soon as the first tooth appears, usually around six months. Brush twice a day, ideally in the morning and before bedtime.

2. What toothpaste should I use for my baby, and how much should I apply?

For babies under 18 months, brushing with water is generally ok. For slightly older children, use a smear of fluoride-free toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice. For those aged two and above, a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste is appropriate. Refer to some of the products I recommend in this guide.

3. How can I make toothbrushing a positive experience for my baby?

Make it fun! Use a toothbrush with colorful designs or their favorite characters. Sing a song or play a short game to make the experience enjoyable. Positive reinforcement, like praise, can also go a long way.

4. What should I do if my baby resists toothbrushing?

Be patient and persistent. Try different techniques to make it more engaging, such as letting your baby choose their toothbrush or making up a toothbrushing song. Consistency and a positive attitude are key.

5. Are there natural remedies for teething pain and other oral discomforts?

Yes, several natural remedies can help. Chilled teething rings, gentle gum massages, chamomile tea-soaked cloths, and probiotic yogurt for oral candidiasis are among the natural options. However, always consult your pediatrician before trying any home remedy.