A child's teeth hold a great importance for his/her overall health and development. They help them in chewing, speaking and smiling. They also hold space for permanent teeth as they are growing in the jaw under the gum area.

At birth, a child has 20 teeth already present in the jaw. The first tooth appears in the mouth at the age of 6-8 months. The complete set of 20 teeth can be seen in the child's mouth by the age of 3 years. The primary teeth also need the same care as we care for the permanent teeth. Early removal of the primary tooth leads to shifting of the adjacent and opponent teeth to tilt which leads to space loss for the eruption of the permanent tooth. Sometimes, the deeply carious primary tooth which does not get treated on time leads to infection in the permanent tooth before its eruption.

Here are a few simple ways to manage your child’s primary dentition are:

1. After birth, start wiping the gums with a clean, moist gauze pad with light pressure with your fingertip. Decay can even start with the eruption of very first tooth. Monitor regularly and take a dental appointment.

2. After the eruption of the first tooth, encourage the child to start brushing with fluoridated toothpaste. The size of toothpaste should be very little may be a size of a grain of rice. Brushing twice a day is recommended. Please supervise kid while brushing to check proper brushing and not to swallow the toothpaste.

3. For the age of a child between 3-6 years, the toothpaste size can be increased to the size of a pea. Small head toothbrush with soft bristle is recommended. Brushing twice a day is recommended under supervision.

4. Remember to encourage the child every day to brush their teeth. Motivation brings positive results and makes it a habit to do brushing daily.

5. Visit your dentist after every 6 months for regular check up.