So, when is the best time to begin brushing?
It is never too early to start caring for your child’s teeth. Oral hygiene should start at birth. I recommend wiping the gums after every feeding with a washcloth or cotton gauze. Simply wrap the washcloth or gauze around your index finger and wipe off the gums. Consistency is the key by using the same wiping pattern each time. Eventually, your child will open after every feeding expecting a cleaning, which will transfer to brushing after every meal once he or she is older.
Once the first teeth erupt, a soft infant toothbrush is recommended with non-fluoride toothpaste. Use a pea-size amount of toothpaste by applying it across the width instead of the length of the bristles. Once your child is old enough to spit out the toothpaste (and not swallow it), toothpaste containing fluoride is recommended.