Dr Ravinder Pal Singh, Sr. Dental Surgeon, PHC, HP Secretariat, Shimla

Teeth are an important part of our body. They help us in mastication, phonation and aesthetics. We generally have two types of dentition, first being deciduous or primary dentition, which has twenty primary teeth, and second is permanent dentition which has thirty two teeth.

Generally, the first tooth of a child erupts in between the age of six to nine months. By the age of three years a child has nearly 20 primary teeth in the oral cavity. Healthy primary teeth are white and without spots or stains. Healthy gums are smooth and pink.

From birth to twelve months of age, the baby’s gums should be gently cleaned with a baby wash cloth or gauze. When the first tooth erupts, the surface should be cleaned using a baby toothbrush and water. At the age of two years, a soft toothbrush and just pea sized baby toothpaste should be used containing fluoride.

Taking Care of the Dentition and Preventing Dental Caries

  • We should take care of our own teeth and set an example for our children to follow the same routine.
  • We should make a routine to brush teeth with our kids at a small age and make it a fun time for them.
  • Teach your child to brush his or her teeth twice a day and positively before going to bed at night.
  • Change your child’s dietary habits and limit the intake of starchy, sugary foods. Such kind of foods produce acids in the oral cavity and causes tooth decay.
  • Use a dental toothpaste which includes fluoride.
  • Make regular visits to the dentists for oral checkups.

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