For a parent, nothing can be more delightful than watching their baby grow. Teething, or the eruption of a baby’s first set of teeth, is one such sign. Even though it’s a natural process, the sight of your baby’s first teeth is nothing less than a miracle.
Babies are born with a complete set of teeth that are hidden beneath their gums. When they reach a certain age—between six and ten months—they get their first pair of teeth. By the age of three, they get a primary set of twenty teeth. Even though this phase heralds a new beginning in their diet and habits, it can be uncomfortable and painful for them.
At TruCare Dentistry, we know the importance of teething. In this blog post, we discuss everything about teething you need to know as a parent. It also details some useful tips you can use to relieve teething pain and discomfort. Read on to know more.
Symptoms of teething
The appearance of the first set of teeth can hurt and cause discomfort for some children. Most of the symptoms usually start two to five days before the eruption of the tooth and they go away a few days after the tooth comes out of the gums. A few of the symptoms are:
- Tender and swollen gums
- Loss of appetite
- Dribbling or drooling
- Increased gnawing or chewing
- Mild irritability and mood swings
- Crankiness and fussiness
- Mild fever
- Sleeplessness and changes in eating patterns
Many of these symptoms will go away by themselves and won’t cause any major problems. Even though the appearance of new teeth can hurt your baby a little, it won’t make them sick. But if you find a high fever, rashes, diarrhea, or cough, then call your pediatrician immediately.
Steps in teething
Most babies have their first teeth when they are between six and ten months of age. That said, genetics and hereditary factors play a huge role in determining the time and age. Teething, also known as odontiasis, happens in a sequence of steps. Let’s find out the steps involved in it.
The deciduous teeth usually erupt in pairs. At about six months, the first teeth to appear are two lower central incisors, or the lower front two teeth, which are followed by the two upper central incisors at approximately eight months.
After that, two teeth beside the central incisors, known as the upper lateral incisors, emerge. Following that, lower lateral incisors come at approximately ten months.
After that, the rest of the teeth – the first molars, canines, and second molars – will erupt from the gums over three years.
Female children tend to get their milk teeth sooner than male children. In some children, the teething process is fast and a complete set of teeth appears before they are three years old.
Relieve your baby’s teething pain
Even though teething is an inevitable process, some methods are extremely useful in relieving pain and discomfort to a large extent. Here are some of those.
- Rub your baby’s gums with a sterilized wet cloth or gum-rubbing finger pad. Pacifiers, teething toys, and teething rings can also help in relieving the pain. Consider cooling the teething devices to provide a cooling and soothing feeling but don’t ever freeze the devices.
- After noticing signs of teething, provide solid foods such as pieces of fruit and cool steamed vegetables to your baby and observe while they eat. Unsweetened and gluten-free teething biscuits can also help in alleviating discomfort and developing the chewing habit.
- Using fingers to massage a baby’s gums will not only comfort the pain but will keep the mouth clean and healthy. Before doing that, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly and massage the gums before nursing them.
- If your little one is over six to eight months of age, you can give them a sippy cup to drink water.
- At the time of teething your baby is likely to drool. Use a smooth cotton cloth to wipe off the drool from your baby’s chin.
Medications to relieve teething pain
If the above methods don’t help, some medications can alleviate discomfort and provide immediate relief. But before giving any medicine, ask your doctor and do exactly as they suggest. Some good medications are:
Provide infant acetaminophen or apply teething gel to relieve discomfort.
A tiny dose of acetaminophen can help relieve pain and discomfort.
Useful tips to look after your child’s new teeth
At the time of teething, take the following steps to ensure the best oral hygiene for your baby:
- Before the start of teething, clean your child’s mouth with a piece of gauze or a sterilized, wet, and cool cloth at least once daily.
- After some teeth appear, make sure that you clean at least twice daily preferably post nursing.
- When your baby is over one year old, use a soft-bristled brush and fluoride-free toothpaste to brush their teeth. You may also floss once every night between the new baby teeth.
Things to avoid
When the teeth first appear, you may be tempted to try a wide range of things to alleviate the pain and discomfort. But there are some things you must avoid:
- Avoid teething gels and liquids that contain benzocaine and choline salicylate as they can cause hypoxia.
- Don’t ever allow your baby to chew on frozen and hard plastic objects.
- Never give your baby aspirin, ibuprofen, or alcohol-based medications.
- Avoid plastic teethers, which can pose a huge health risk and can result in choking. Also, avoid teethers that are filled with liquids or made from hazardous materials.
In a nutshell,
Even though teething, also known as odontiasis, is one of the important milestones in a child’s life, it can cause pain and discomfort. That’s why parents must know the symptoms of teething as well as the treatment and medications using which they can alleviate the pain. If you are looking for a pediatric dentist in Roswell, GA, feel free to contact TruCare Dentistry or book an appointment today.