Children’s first (milk) teeth are important because, apart from being needed for chewing and speaking, they help to maintain space for permanent teeth, developing underneath them in the jaws.

If the milk teeth are well looked after, then it is more likely that the second (permanent) teeth will grow into their correct position.


Babies in utero have about 20 teeth already developing. Children’s teeth begin forming before birth. As early as 4 but usually 6-7 months, the first milk teeth to erupt are the lower central incisors. Although 20 milk teeth appear by the age of 3, the pace and order of their eruption varies.

The first permanent tooth is usually one of the four six-year-molars – so named because they appear around age 6. Molars are important because they help shape the lower part of the child’s face as well as affect the position of the other permanent teeth.



Chronology of teeth eruption


An important dentistry guide for parents is, the 6-year permanent molars are often mistaken as milk teeth and neglected.

Permanent second molars usually appear around age 12. At that time, your child will have a complete set of teeth except for the wisdom teeth or third molars which usually appear between age 17 and 25.

Special attention should be paid to your child’s teeth during the teen years, as most decay occurs during these years.


When should I start taking care of my child’s teeth?

Parents must be aware of pediatric dentistry guidelines soon after the baby’s birth. Gums should be cleaned every day using a piece of wet gauze. Parents can begin brushing their child’s teeth as soon as they appear, using a super soft toothbrush and baby-friendly toothpaste. These are essential Paediatric Dentistry guidelines.

When should I take my child to see the Dentist?

Ideally, your child’s first dental visit to Acharya Dental should be by the first birthday. This can serve as a useful dentistry guide for parents. Our Paediatric Dentist (Child Specialist) will check for decay and other problems, teach you how to clean your child’s teeth and identify your child’s fluoride needs. By starting dental visits early, you’ll help your child build a lifetime of good dental habits.


Is teething painful?

Yes. When babies are teething, they often have sore and tender gums. The pain usually can be soothed by gently rubbing the baby’s gums with a clean finger, a small, cool spoon or a wet gauze. Teethers can also be used. If your child has elevated temperature, it needs to be addressed as a separate medical concern.

Teething gums

Can babies get cavities?

Yes. Even though they will eventually fall out, milk teeth can get cavities and may need to be treated. As soon as teeth appear in the mouth, decay can occur. One serious form of decay among young children is Baby Bottle Tooth Decay. Babies should not fall asleep with bottles in their mouths – the sugar in juices or milk formulas can cause tooth decay, leading to cavities, dental discomfort, and even tooth loss.

Baby Bottle Tooth Decay

When should thumb sucking stop?

Sucking is a natural behaviour for babies. Many infants begin sucking their thumbs within three months of birth. Children usually give up thumb sucking by age 4 or 5. Consult with the child specialist at Acharya Dental if this habit continues for longer.

Is it safe to use pacifiers?

Use of pacifiers during naps or night time might reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). The American Academy of Paediatrics, as per Paediatric Dentistry Guidelines, suggests weaning children off pacifiers between the age of 6 to 12 months. Neither habit generally poses a dental problem if it is discontinued before the child’s first permanent teeth erupt.

How can the Dentists protect your child’s teeth?

As a child’s permanent teeth erupt, the Dentists at Acharya Dental can prevent cavities from forming with the help of sealants and fluoride treatment. Our doctors can do a thorough examination of the child patients, which facilitates in being a vital dentistry guide for parents. Sealants are a safe, painless and a cost-effective way to help protect your child’s teeth from decay. Fluoride application is a single sitting procedure done once every six months to make the tooth structure stronger and prevents cavities. If a child is not comfortable, provisions are made to complete dental treatment under General Anaesthesia (GA).

Dr. Gunit Bindra

June 4, 2018