Your child’s dental health care should begin long before they get their first tooth. Even in infancy, you should wipe their gums with a damp cloth, removing any milk or formula residue. Once teeth start to grow in, brush them with a pea-sized amount of children’s fluoride toothpaste and a small, soft-bristled brush designed for kids.

By the time your child is 4 or 5, or when they understand not to swallow their toothpaste, they should be able to brush on their own with an adult’s supervision. But until they reach the age of 6, they should use only a smear of paste.