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Oral Health for Infants and Toddlers

Written by
Dr. Sheetal R Bhanushali
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

Published on Dec 31, 2018   -  2 min read


To maintain the oral health of your kid, some common mistakes we make during the dentition period can easily be avoided. This article deals with some best practices to maintain oral hygiene.

Oral Health for Infants and Toddlers

Teething is the process of eruption of teeth from the gums. Usually, it starts from the age of 6 months and goes up to 3 years. Sometimes, the process starts before 6 months of age.

Kids have two sets of teeth:

  1. Primary teeth/ Baby teeth/ Milk teeth.
  2. Permanent teeth.

There are four types of teeth:

  1. Incisors.
  2. Canines.
  3. Premolars.
  4. Molars.

Usually, the lower two teeth erupt first and then the upper two teeth erupt on the opposite arch. By the age of 3 years, kids have 20 teeth, 10 on each jaw.

By the age of 12 to 14 years, the primary teeth get replaced by permanent teeth which are 32 in number.

Teething Symptoms

Teething is a painful process for most kids. During this phase, kids have many complaints like:

As babies have irritation in their gums, they tend to put everything in the mouth which results in stomach problems.

How to Avoid These Complaints?

You can massage the baby's gums with honey.

You can give them hard food like frozen carrot, radish, cucumber, etc. to chew as it provides soothing relief. Monitor them closely to avoid choking.

You can alternately give a wooden teether or a soft silicone teether.

Wash toys with warm water to prevent germs and dust from going inside when kids put toys in their mouth.

Keep their nails trimmed.

The playing area should always be neat and clean.

Wipe the gums after breastfeeding to avoid caries in the future (especially during night feeds).

Clean the mouth after every meal by giving little water to drink.

Do not give junk food, especially that which has processed sugar in it, because it may cause dental caries.

Brush the teeth with a finger brush twice a day after the teeth erupt.

After the age of 2 years, you should start brushing using a toothbrush and toothpaste.

Clean their tongue to avoid oral infection as food deposits lead to dental caries.

Brush teeth twice a day.

How to Encourage Your Child to Brush?

Give a small reward for each brushing session.

Brush your teeth together as a family.

Gift them a new attractive toothbrush.

Let him/ her brush their toys while you brush their teeth.

Allow them to choose the flavor of the toothpaste.

Appreciate him/ her for brushing.

Allowing them to brush your teeth.


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Last reviewed at:
31 Dec 2018  -  2 min read


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