The sign of the first tooth in your baby’s mouth adds another task on your already overflowing to-do list. You now have to add dental care to your routine. Even though baby teeth are temporary, you have to follow a strict process of brushing twice a day to avoid the dreaded cavity from taking root. Your child’s dental care is important. But which toothpaste to use? Which brand works best? And should we opt for fluoride toothpaste or not? It can get confusing for new parents. Let’s find out.

Click here to read a dentist mother’s guide on the importance of baby dental care and how to prevent dental decay in babies.

Which toothpaste for kids

There are mixed opinions over whether fluoride should be used on babies and children. Some dentists say it’s alright to use a tiny amount, while others disagree.

The earlier dental pediatric guidelines use to state no fluoride before the child learns to spit. Swallowing fluoride was not recommended as it could lead to fluorosis or discoloration of the teeth.

However, the American dental association changed this viewpoint in 2014 and stated that a tiny bit of fluoride should be given as soon as the first tooth shows. As long as you don’t expose the developing teeth to an excess of fluoride.

Kids who have learned how to gargle and spit are ready for a regular/adult toothpaste, but most parents make the switch generally at six years and upwards.

Parents who are uncomfortable about using fluoride-based toothpaste can wait until the baby is 2 years old. If you’re still unsure, check with your doctor.

Which brush for a baby

For a newborn (without any teeth), it is best to use a muslin cloth wrapped around your finger. Or one can use a silicone-based finger brush. That has very soft bristles and easily fit on an adult finger.  

After the first teeth appear, choose age-appropriate baby toothbrushes that are rounded, with soft bristles. Also, ensure the head of the brush is small in size, so it can easily fit into the child’s mouth.

Electric brushes should only be used after 3 years.

How to care for your child’s teeth

There are three age bands when you need to tweak the way of cleaning your child’s mouth for appropriate dental hygiene.

Newborn (before teeth appear):

Use a muslin cloth or a silicone-based finger brush and rub in gentle circles across your baby’s gums and inside the mouth.

No need of using toothpaste, one may wet the muslin cloth with sterile water.

Kids below 3 years of age:

Many babies cannot manage to brush on their own in this age group. So parents can either brush for the child. Or parents can let the child watch and learn. Till the child learns to brush well, a caregiver should clean a child’s teeth.  

Apply a rice grain-sized smear on the toothbrush and brush in gentle circles or up and down strokes, covering the surface area of every tooth. Many babies cannot spit until they are 2-3 years old. Hence use a tiny quantity of the paste. 

Use a silicone-based finger brush or an age-appropriate baby brush with soft bristles.

Use a toothpaste recommended by your Paed/dentist. Many parents opt for non-fluoride toothpaste until the child learns to spit.


  • Push the paste under the top of the bristles & spread it to ensure a child doesn’t eat it before brushing
  • Brush with your child; that helps him to learn the action as well as excites him to brush

Kids above 3 years of age:

Most babies can brush by themselves now. Also, they can spit the paste after brushing.

Use a pea-sized dollop on the toothbrush and apply as instructed above.

Use an age-appropriate baby brush with soft bristles.

Most doctors recommend the use of a regular fluoride-based toothpaste for this age group.

Watch this video for more details:


Our top 5 picks of kids toothpaste

he dental aisle in the supermarket is flooded with all kinds of toothpaste for kids. To choose one out of a sea of boxes might be tricky. Which is why we figured out the best toothpaste for you.

1. Pediflor

Pediflor kids toothpaste with fluoride
  • Contains fluoride
  • Recommended age: 2-6 years
  • Contains xylitol, a natural sweetener that helps avoid tooth decay
  • Available in strawberry and green apple flavour

2. Kidodent

Kidodent fluoridated medicated oral gel toothpaste for kids
  • Medicated fluoride oral gel
  • Recommended age: 0 – 5 years
  • Contains Xylitol
  • Comes in bubble fruit flavour

3. Colgate toothpaste for kids

Colgate kids toothpaste


  • Contains fluoride
  • Recommended age: 2 to 5 years
  • Comes in strawberry and bubble fruit flavours

4. Mama Earth berry blast toothpaste

Mama Earth natural ingredient fluoride-free baby toothpaste


  • Contains all-natural ingredients
  • Fluoride-free
  • Recommended age: 6 – 24 months
  • Strawberry flavoured

5. Chicco

Chicco fluoride-free baby toothpaste


  • Fluoride-free
  • Recommended age: 6 – 36 months
  • Contains Xylitol to prevent tooth decay
  • Gently removes plaque with low abrasive formula
  • Apple, banana and strawberry flavours

Our top 5 picks of kids toothbrushes

Again, there are so many toothbrushes for kids out there. We have listed our top 5 picks:

1. 1st Step Silicone Finger Brush

1st step silicone finger brush


  • Recommended age:  3 months onwards
  • Useful to clean gums and teeth
  • Fits on an adult finger; easy to reach inside of baby’s mouth
  • Plastic-free

2. Chicco Kids Toothbrush

Chicco baby first toothbrush


  • Recommended age: 6 – 36 months
  • Small, rounded head, fits well in baby’s mouth
  • Soft bristles
  • Non-slip, rubber handle, ergonomically designed
  • Comes in many colours

3. Oral B Pro-Health Stages Battery-powered Toothbrush

OralB electric toothbrush for babies above 3 years of age


  • Electrical brush with rotating powerhead for uniform cleaning
  • Recommended age:3 years onwards
  • Extra soft bristles
  • Ergonomically designed

4. Jordan Step 3 Toothbrush

Jordan step 3 kids toothbrush


  • Recommended age: 6 to 9 years
  • Soft bristles
  • Slender neck to reach inside a baby’s mouth
  • Ergonomic handle

5. Aquawhite Paw Patrol Flashhh Toothbrush

Aquawhite baby toothbrush with timer and spitting tumbler


  • Recommended age: 2 to 8 years
  • Soft bristles
  • Comes with a 2-minute timer, a rinsing cup (for spitting and storing the brush) and a hygiene cap


Your child’s first teeth need proper care from the moment they arrive. Even if they are temporary, they can get cavities and tooth decay which causes further issues. The right toothbrush and toothpaste will enable you to install a solid dental care habit that will last your child even through adult life.