Looking after your baby's teeth

toddler showing teeth and smiling

Your baby’s teeth begin to come through at around the age of six months, but from three months onwards you will notice signs of teething.

Protecting the health of your baby’s teeth from the start is important. Tooth brushing, diet and visiting the dentist are all factors in ensuring your baby develops a happy and healthy smile.

To find out more about the Oral Health service provided by Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust, visit the Oral health section of their Better Lives, Healthy Futures website.

Tips for Caring for Your Baby's Teeth

According to the British Society of Paediatric Dentistry and the NHS:

  • Breast feed if you can. This provides the best nutrition for babies.
  • From six months of age introduce drinking from a free-flow cup and from age one year discourage feeding from a bottle.
  • Don't add sugar to weaning foods or drinks.
  • Once your baby is eating solid foods, choose healthy and nutritious foods and drinks, keeping sugary food and drinks to a minimum as sugar is the main cause of tooth decay.
  • As soon as teeth erupt in your baby’s mouth, brush them twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste. Brush last thing at night and on one other occasion. Use toothpaste containing at least 1000 parts per million (ppm) fluoride and use only a smear of toothpaste.
  • Avoid the use of dummies after 12 months of age. Dummies can cause an 'open bite' (the teeth move to make space for the dummy) and can affect speech and language development.
  • Use sugar-free medicines

The British Society of Paediatric Dentistry have made this handy leaflet which has lots of useful information.


You should take your child to visit the dentist as soon as their first teeth appear. Visiting the dentist early helps them to get used to the environment and get to know the dentist. 

NHS dental care is free for children.

Need to find a dentist?

Just enter your postcode and click/tap 'search' for a list of dentists in your area. Click/tap on the name of each dentist to find out:

  • Their ratings and reviews
  • Whether they are currently taking on new NHS patients
  • What their opening times are
  • If they are accessible for wheelchair users and people who need step-free access
  • If there is car parking available

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