Answer: Tooth brushing must begin as soon as baby’s first tooth okes through the gums. Use a clean, damp washcloth, or a finger brush to gently wipe clean the first teeth and the front of the tongue, after meals and at bedtime.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends using cavity-preventing fluoride toothpaste starting with baby’s very first tooth, rather than waiting until age 2 as was previously recommended. Use a rice-grain-sized smear of toothpaste for your baby or toddler, graduating to a pea-sized dollop by age three. And don’t worry if your baby swallows some of the toothpaste (as he almost certainly will)—in such a small quantity, it won’t cause any damage to the teeth.