What to do

Visit the Dentist

  • Take your child to the dentist by his or her first birthday
  • Make sure your teeth are healthy too, as your baby can literally catch decay causing bacteria from you.

What to do at home

  • Before baby has teeth, clean the gums with a damp face washer after each feed
  • Never put your baby to sleep with a bottle or sipper cup
  • The last thing that touches your baby’s teeth before bed is a small soft toothbrush with a smear of baby tooth paste
  • also brush in the morning
  • stop on demand breast or bottle feeding at 12 months or when solids are introduced
  • Encourage older children to spit the toothpaste out after brushing. When they are no longer swallowing the toothpaste change to a 6 years + toothpaste
  • stop the chance of transferring decay causing bacteria to your baby’s mouth by limiting transfer of saliva. This means don’t share cups, cutlery, water bottles or toothbrushes. This goes for older brothers and sisters also, don’t let them put things that have been in their mouth in your baby’s mouth.


  • What and how often affects tooth decay risk
  • No more than 3 meals and 2 snacks per day
  • Not more than 2 sweet drinks or processed foods per day – Ideally none.
  • Grazing (frequent snacking) is not good for teeth.


  • sweet drinks (juice, cordial, flavoured milk, and soft drink)
  • processed foods including foods made with white flour and sugar such as biscuits, cake, muffins
  • dried fruit, muesli bars, fruit straps, fruit sticks, sweet breakfast or chocolate coated bars, etc
  • Starchy foods such as chips, rice crackers and rice cakes, white bread
  • Lollies especially lolly pops and chocolate

Preferred Snacks

  • fresh fruit and vegetables
  • cheese
  • wholegrain breads and biscuits
  • yoghurt with limited added sugar
  • water or milk to drink