How To Care For Your Child’s Teeth: A Guide For Parents


Primary teeth also known as milk teeth or baby teeth begins to develop  while the baby is in the mothers womb. At birth, the baby has a full set of 20 primary teeth (10 in the upper jaw, 10 in the lower jaw) hidden under the gums. The milk tooth breaks through the gums and becomes eventually  visible in the mouth by 6 months of age. By  three years of age your child will have complete set of milk teeth in their mouth.

 Primary teeth plays an important role in the growth and development of the child. It is important for acquiring nutrition, proper development of speech and for maintaining the space for permanent teeth (adult teeth) that will eventually erupt. Early dental care is important for children since tooth decay can start as soon as the first tooth erupts into the oral cavity. The decay of tooth can cause pain and swelling which can affect the proper chewing of food, which in turn is important for acquiring proper nutrition.

Some basic steps to follow for infant oral care.

-Before bedtime and after the first feeding of the day, wipe your child’s gums with a soft, clean cloth or silicone finger sleeve twice a day.

-Once the teeth have erupted, begin brushing twice daily with water and a soft toothbrush with little bristles.

-To detect any issues, take your baby to the dentist by the time they turn one.

-When your child’s first tooth breaks, discuss with your dentist or physician the possibility of applying fluoride varnish to their teeth.

-Regular trips to the dentist

Dental health in children

 Around 20% of kids between the ages of 5 and 11 have at least one untreated decayed tooth. This is why it’s crucial to teach dental hygiene to children as early as possible. When your youngster is between the ages of 8 and 9, it’s time for them to take charge of their tooth-brushing responsibilities. 

A way to better health

The role of fluoride

Fluoride has been shown to reduce cavities in both adult (permanent) teeth and baby (primary) teeth.Fluoride is typically consumed by kids through the water. Your child might need to take an oral fluoride supplement if the water in your home lacks fluoride. To find out if your child requires this, consult your paediatric doctor. Too much fluoride can affect your child’s health and discolor their teeth. Make sure your child does not consume mouthwash or toothpaste containing fluoride.

How Can You Prevent Cavities in Your Child?

Cavities are the most common dental problem in children.If you teach your child the correct method of brushing and flossing the risk of developing cavities can be reduced.

Brushing and flossing

Children below 3 years of age

 Brush your childs teeth twice daily, using a soft child-sized toothbrush appropriate for their age. You could also mix in a tiny bit of fluoride-free toothpaste. You can switch to fluoride-containing toothpaste whenever your youngster is old enough to spit out the toothpaste. Use rice sized amount of fluoridated tooth paste for children below 3 years of age (smear layer). Ask your pediatric dentist to demonstrate the proper technique for brushing your child’s teeth.

Until they are 7 or 8 years old, your child will probably need assistance with tooth brushing. They can start using a larger-sized toothbrush at this point .Use pea sized amount of fluoridated tooth  paste for children above 3 years of age. Every three to six months or when the bristles start to look worn, replace the toothbrush. For 2 minutes, children should brush their teeth. Another essential component of your child’s dental hygiene routine is flossing. Introduce your child to daily flossing. To make flossing easier, you can purchase floss with a handle.

Role of diet .

 Kids who consume a lot of sugary foods and beverages also have a higher chance of developing cavities. It’s crucial to choose nutritious foods. Limit the amount of soda, fruit juice, and other sugary beverages your child consumes. Avoid eating or drinking anything sweet between meals. If your child does consume sweets, make sure they brush their teeth right away.

SAFETY MEASURES to be taken during contact sports

 Your youngster should wear a mouth guard if they participate in sports. This soft plastic retainer covers the lips and occasionally the teeth. It aids in preventing harm to your child’s mouth. If you require a mouth guard that is specially fitted, consult your dentist.


Your child may be at risk for cavities if they:

-Have white spots or brown areas on their teeth.

-Have ongoing special health care needs.

-Do not go to the dentist often.

-Were born early (premature) or had a low birth weight.


Untreated cavities might lead to tooth loss. It may harm a tooth’s nerve, resulting in an infection at the tip of the root which may need surgical treatment or extraction.Negligence can lead to loss of school days which in turn can affect the academic performance of the child. Children are often bullied in schools due to their unpleasant appearances which will affect the self esteem of the child


Consult your paediatric dentist if your child have any of these habits:

Mouth breathing, tongue thrusting,thumb sucking, lip biting, lip chewing, digit sucking

Every parent is responsible for the overall dental health of their child. Taking proper care of their teeth through daily oral hygiene maintained and regular dental examinations can help them keep their beautiful and healthy smiles. In our country, most parents are not educated regarding the importance of paediatric dental care, which has in turn been the root cause for most of their dental problems . Knowing the path to better oral health can enable you to keep your kids healthy.Being one of the  best dental colleges in Kerala , PMS College of Dental Science and Research have all the facilities to give utmost care for all your child’s dental needs.