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Teething and first teeth

​​​​First teeth usually appear between 6 and 10 months. In some children, teeth can appear as early as 3 months or not until around 12 months.

Start brushing or cleaning teeth when your baby gets their first tooth. Even if they have no teeth children can still get used to having a small toothbrush or cloth gently rubbed on their gums, especially at bath time.

Once your child is 18 months old, you can use a pea-sized amount of low-fluoride toothpaste on the toothbrush. It is not easy to teach a child how to spit. 

Toddler teeth need cleaning twice a day - in the morning and before bed.

Your child can start helping to clean her teeth at around two years of age. Letting them hold a toothbrush with you will help them feel they are part of the action. Role modelling cleaning your teeth is also a great way to start showing your child how to care for your teeth.


Children will need your help and supervision with cleaning teeth until they are about eight years old, as they do not yet have the skill or focused attention to clean their teeth thoroughly.

Children, by the time they are two years old, should visit the dentist regularly to have their teeth checked as this allows your child to know the dentist and feel comfortable go to see them.

You can keep your child's teeth healthy by:

  • Having them drink their bottle of milk before going to bed
  • Clean their teeth both in the morning and before going to bed
  • Around 12 months of age, all milk drinks are encouraged to be from a cup
  • Stop all bottles by 12 months of age
  • Encouraging drinking water from a cup from around 6 months of age
  • Encourage children to drink water and eat healthy food and snacks
  • No bottles in cot/bed, especially overnight