Is My Baby Teething
In babies, tooth eruption, which occurs when the tooth breaks through the gum, is called teething.
Your childs baby teeth will appear any time from birth to 27 months. There is no normal when it comes to the timing of baby teeth. All children are different. The order teeth appear is more important than the time they appear.
A general guide to when baby teeth should appear can be seen in the diagram below.
Signs and symptoms of teething to look out for include:
- Red swollen gums
- Finger or fist sucking.
Teething usually takes about eight days, which includes four days prior and three days after the tooth comes through the gum. If you see a blue-grey bubble on the gum where the tooth is about to appear, do not panic. This is an eruption cyst, which will usually disappear without treatment.
How To Care For Primary Teeth
Some parents think that caring for primary teeth isnt that important because they will fall out anyway. However, it is very wrong to think that because baby teeth are prone to decay just like adult ones. Moreover, they also make it possible for children to chew their food and keep the space for future permanent teeth.
To prevent problems with primary teeth, its advisable to teach kids oral hygiene and keep to a healthy diet rich in minerals and nutrients. The common rules of good oral hygiene include the following:
- First tooth: Brush with a soft baby toothbrush twice a day
- 12 months: Make your babys first appointment at the dentists
- 18 months: Start adding a small amount of low-fluoride toothpaste and make sure your child doesnt swallow it
- 30 months: Start using a dental floss between the teeth that touch
- 4-5 years: Teach your child to brush their teeth by themselves
- 6 years: Introduce an adult toothpaste and go on encouraging your kid to spit out the paste and floss their teeth on their own
- 8 years: By this age, the child will be able to follow all the established rules of oral hygiene unsupervised. However, you should regularly visit a dentist.
All the recommendations and tips listed here are based on the information provided by a range of highly respected institutions, among which are FDA , CDC , AAP , and ADA .
Can Teething Be Painful For Babies Or Toddlers
Much of the discomfort comes from the gums around the new teeth as they erupt, which can become swollen and tender.
If your baby or toddler is showing signs of discomfort and you think it may be due to teething, contact your childâs healthcare provider or dentist for personalized advice. You can also read more on how to soothe a teething baby here or consider a teething toy as a way to help soothe your little one.
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Remedies: What Can You Do To Help Your Child
It is normal for your baby or toddler to experience some pain and irritability during teething. Often teething symptoms can be managed without medication. Here are some strategies to try.
Massage gently rubbing your childs gums with clean fingers is the easiest way to ease teething pain.
Chewing objects allowing your baby to chew on objects such as crusts of bread, rusks or a teething ring can provide comfort. You can chill teething rings or rusks, as pressure from cold objects can help relieve discomfort. Follow the manufacturers instructions when cleaning teething products. Unsweetened teething rusks or sugar-free teething biscuits should only be given to infants over six months who have started eating solids.
Dry the drool drooling often occurs when your child is teething, causing the skin around the mouth and chin to become irritated. Gently clean the skin with a soft cloth throughout the day.
Pain-relieving medication Parents should speak to their GP or child health nurse about whether pain-relieving medication, like paracetamol, is needed for your child.
Teething necklaces are a choking and strangulation hazard and are not recommended for children. Other methods mentioned above, are safe and effective.
If pain persists and causes sleepless nights seek further advice from your pharmacist, GP or child health nurse.
At What Age Do Babies Start Growing Teeth
Believe it or not, tooth development begins during the first six weeks into gestation. Tooth buds start to form under the gums during the eighth week of gestation. And these tooth buds remain there for the remainder of the pregnancy and after your baby is born.
Most people have 20 baby teeth under the gums at birth. And they don’t usually start to erupt until the baby is around six months of age. However, babies can begin to teeth anytime from 3 months to 14 months.
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How To Care For Babys New Teeth
Keep in mind that good oral health isnt important for only older children, teens, and adults. Your babys oral health matters too. So start brushing those pearly whites as soon as the first tooth grows in.
How do you keep their tiny, delicate teeth healthy? There really isnt much to do at this age, but the first step is to buy an infant toothbrush that is soft and gentle. Youll brush their teeth twice a day, once in the morning and once at night.
And yes, its OK to use a fluoride toothpaste, but not too much. You only need a small grain-size amount until theyre 3 years old then, increase to a pea-sized amount.Brushing helps prevent tooth decay, which can occur when sugar from milk, juice, or formula remains on their teeth and damages the enamel.
Have questions about teething? Here are answers to a few frequently asked questions.
When To Visit The Dentist
It is a good idea to organise your babys first visit to the dentist when their first tooth appears, or at around 12 months whichever comes first. Dentists and their teams are used to dealing with babies and young children.
The dentist will take a full medical history and will give you advice about teething, tooth brushing, how to prevent tooth decay, the best nutrition for your babys teeth, and how to prevent problems through injury or habits like thumb sucking.
Always make a visit to the dentist a positive experience for your baby. Never use the dentist as a threat for not brushing teeth or other behaviour.
For more information and advice, call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby on 1800 882 436 to talk to a maternal child health nurse.
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When To Call The Doctor About Infant Teething
They may not be super pleasant for baby, but signs of teething are usually nothing to be concerned about. However, there are some situations in which you might want to call your pediatrician for infant teething. Call the doctor if:
- Babys temperature rises above 100
- Babys low-grade fever lasts longer than two days
- Baby has diarrhea
- Baby wont eat or drink
The general rule of thumb is that if baby seems unusually uncomfortable, is acting sick or has signs of teething that cant be soothed, its a good idea to call the pediatrician. Your little one may have an illness or infection that needs to be treated. If you think baby needs to be seen, trust yourself and call the doctor.
About the experts:
, DDS, PhD, is a professor of cariology and comprehensive care at the New York University College of Dentistry in New York City. He received his doctor of dental surgery degree and PhD in oral biology and pathology from Stony Brook University. Before joining the NYU College of Dentistry in 2005, he served as associate dean at Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine.
Whitney Schutzbank, MD, MPH, is a pediatrician at the MassGeneral Hospital for Children in Boston. Her clinical interests lie in newborn medicine and nutrition. She earned both her medical degree and masters of public health degree from Tulane University School of Medicine.
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Delayed Tooth Loss Should I Be Concerned
Ordinarily, theres a huge variation in the age at which children naturally and properly lose their baby teeth. Between the ages of eight and 10, most parents worry about their kids late tooth loss. Although nothing seems to be problematic in these cases, it is advisable to consult an orthodontist. Your childs situation will next be determined by an X-ray taken by the orthodontist. Parents should not be alarmed about tooth loss occurring later than expected unless the following situations arise:
- Crowding occurs when there is insufficient space for adult teeth to erupt. They may not be able to extract the primary teeth directly above.
- Adult teeth are not apparent from birth. A deciduous tooth does not typically fall out until the permanent tooth underneath it drags it upward to replace it. When a youngster is lacking some adult teeth, this development is hindered in specific areas of the mouth.
- When additional teeth emerge, they can impede the natural growth of permanent teeth. Your orthodontist can identify if your kid has a critical dental problem or is simply growing slowly.
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Brushing Your Babys Teeth
Regular brushing is an important part of dental care. The key thing at this stage is to gently clean baby teeth twice a day and to get your little one used to the brushing routine. Here are some guidelines for brushing your babyâs teeth, as well as some tips on teaching your older child how to get the job done, with your help:
Brush at least twice a day, always brushing after your child has had anything sugary as well as after the last meal or drink of the day
Put a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste on a soft-bristled toothbrush designed for your babyâs age. Carefully brush each tooth, making sure to reach all the surfaces, including the sides and the inside surface. Once your child is about 2 years old you can start using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. You’ll need to teach him how to rinse and spit, rather than swallowing the toothpaste.
The direction of the brush stroke doesnât really matter. The key is to clean each tooth from all angles, making sure you reach the back teeth as well
For now youâll need to brush your babyâs teeth. As he reaches the toddler and preschooler stage, help him begin brush his own teeth, under your close supervision. You’ll need to lend a hand until he’s 7 or 8 years old to ensure those teeth get a thorough clean. Here are some ideas for how to make brushing more fun for both of you.
Care For Your Babys Teeth
During your well-baby visits, your pediatrician will check your babys teeth and gums. Theyll make sure theyre healthy and talk to you about how to keep them that way. Theyll also typically apply fluoride varnish to help protect them.
When your baby gets its first tooth, you can begin brushing them twice a day. We recommend buying a soft-bristle baby toothbrush with a smear of toothpaste about the size of a grain of rice. You also wont want to put your baby to bed with a bottle as it can lead to tooth decay.
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How Do You Choose A Toothbrush
The age of your little one will play a big part in choosing the right way to keep their mouth clean.If your baby doesnt have teeth yet or is just starting to get teeth, a finger brush can be a great option. This will prepare them for having something cleaning their mouth and also give you the chance to swipe away the bacteria off their gums, so that their growing teeth have a healthy environment to develop in.
As your child begins teething and is always wanting to stick items in their mouth anyway, they can begin to take a more active role in their dental hygiene through brushes with nubs or teether-style brushes. These allow your little one to experience controlling a toothbrush like item in their mouth and enables a little dental cleaning at the same time!
As a bonus, they come in fun shapes, like cacti or sharks or even a banana toothbrush. These can be offered during playtimes as a toy and can also help to relieve some of the discomfort of teething.
Once your child has teeth, its time to introduce a toothbrush with soft bristles and toothpaste. A child-sized brush will have a smaller head that can fit better into the nooks and crevices of your childs mouth.
These come in a variety of colors and patterns to appeal to whatever your childs interests are. Some are sized with larger handles to make it easier for your toddler to grasp, but its important that an adult also be involved when using this type of brush to ensure the entirety of the mouth is cleaned.
Classic Signs Of Teething Include:
- increased drooling,
- sore or tender gums, and
- rubbing the cheeks and/or gums.
Some of these symptoms of teething in infants are easily confused with normal parts of early childhood development that are unrelated to teething. For example, mouthing that is, babies sticking objects inside their mouths is a natural way for babies to explore and learn about the objects around them, but can sometimes be difficult to distinguish from a desire to chew on objects to relieve teething pain.
Others of these teething symptoms, such as irritability and refusal to eat, could be signs of potentially serious medical issues wholly unrelated to teething. If your child experiences persistent discomfort and none of the techniques described below provides relief, or if you otherwise feel concerned, it is a good idea to check in with your childs pediatrician.
Keep in mind that, although fever and diarrhea have sometimes been anecdotally reported as signs of teething, the American Dental Association does not consider them to be normal teething symptoms. If your child is experiencing diarrhea or a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, you should contact your childs pediatrician.
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Baby Teeth Are Important
Baby teeth help your child to chew food easily and to pronounce words properly. They are also needed to hold a place in the jaw for the permanent teeth to come through later.
It is important to keep baby teeth clean. This will protect against infection, cavities and pain. Decayed baby teeth can damage the permanent teeth underneath.