Health & Wellbeing Service - Manchester

Oral Health Information 0-3 Year Olds


  • Parents should be warned over the practice of allowing prolonged drinking from a bottle or valve feeder with any sugared solution.
  • Prolonged contact time between the sugar and the teeth will cause rapidly progressing decay.
  • The risk is increased if the bottle is used as a comfort, especially at bedtime.
  • A bottle should not be used for anything other than their milk and water.   
  • If sugared sweetened drinks are given to younger children they should be very well diluted and given at mealtimes only and drinking time kept short (SBOHED 2009)
  • Breast feeding provides the best nutrition for babies
  • From 6 months of age infants should be introduced to drinking from a trainer cup.
  • From 1 year the bottle should be discouraged.
  • Sugar should not be added to weaning foods
  • The frequency and amount of sugary foods and drinks should be reduced and kept to mealtimes; they should not be consumed more than 4 times a day.
  • Sugar free medicines should be recommended. (DBOH 14)



This can be very painful and can continue over several months, recognisable by irritability, dribbling, frantic chewing and red cheeks. Teething rings that can be cooled can help. (If your baby is showing several symptoms don’t blame it all on teething) Between the ages of 6 months and 3 years children’s baby (deciduous) teeth begin to erupt. There are 20 baby teeth, all of which are replaced by adult (permanent) teeth between the ages of 6 – 13 years, with wisdom teeth erupting between the ages of 17 – 21 years. There are 32 adult teeth.

Eruption Dates

  • Deciduous (baby) Teeth (20 teeth in total)
  • Incisors 6-8 months
  • Canines 12-20 months
  • 1st Molars 12-16 months
  • 2nd Molars 30-30 months

Sugar Free Medicine


  • Sugars in medicine can cause decay.
  • The use of sugared medicine should be strongly discouraged.
  • SF medicine should be chosen by prescribers and promoted by pharmacists when buying non prescription medicines.
  • Children with long-term medical conditions should always have SF prescribed.  (SBOHED 2009)

Toothbrushing and Fluoride

  • As soon as teeth erupt in the mouth they should be brushed twice daily.
  • Use only a smear of toothpaste containing no less than 1450parts per million fluoride concentration.
  • Parents/carers should supervise toothbrushing to prevent eating or licking of toothpaste. (DBOH 14)