Cutting new teeth, or teething, can be a very frustrating experience for babies and their parents. Parents hate to know their baby is in pain. In this article we hope to help you so you know what to do when your baby is teething.
Your baby can begin teething as early as 3 months old and the process can continue up to a child’s third birthday or beyond. In most cases, when your baby is between the ages of 4 and 7 months, you will notice your child’s first tooth pushing through the gum line.
Typically, the first teeth to appear are the two bottom front teeth. These are the central incisors. Within 4 to 8 weeks, your baby’s four front upper teeth will begin to push through the gums. These are the central and lateral incisors.
In another month, your baby’s lower lateral incisors will begin to come in. That is the two teeth on each side of the bottom front teeth. Next will be molars. Your baby’s back teeth used for grinding food. Last but not least, your baby’s eyeteeth will start to come in. That’s the pointy teeth in the upper jaw. By your baby’s third birthday, they will usually have all 20 primary teeth.
Only in very rare cases does a baby get born with one or two teeth or begin teething within the first few weeks after birth. There is no reason for concern if this happens, unless the teeth are loose and pose a choking hazard.
When your baby begins teething you might notice they begin to drool more and constantly want to chew on things. Some babies experience no pain while teething, others may be irritable or cranky for weeks. Some babies experience crying episodes, not wanting to eat, and sleep disruption. If your child is too irritable, call your doctor to see if there is a problem.
Tender and swollen gums can cause your baby’s temperature to rise, but generally teething does not cause high temperature in babies. You should call your doctor if high temperatures do occur, because there is probably another cause for it.
If your baby drools excessively, wipe their mouth often or it could cause rashes. While sleeping, place a clean cloth under the baby’s head to catch excess drooling.
Give your baby something to chew on that is large enough that they cannot swallow it and something that won’t break or cannot be chewed into small pieces. Place a wet washcloth in the freezer for thirty minutes and let them chew on that. Rubber teething rings are another good choice. Don’t use the ones that have liquid in them just to be safe. They could break.
Rub your baby’s gums with your finger. This can help relieve the pain. Never tie a teething ring around your baby’s neck.. Acetaminophen may also help relieve your baby’s pain. Always consult your doctor before giving them any medication and remember, never give a baby aspirin.
Another important tip for preventing tooth decay: don’t let your baby fall asleep with a bottle. The milk or juice can pool in her mouth and cause tooth decay and plaque.
Good dental hygiene for your baby is extremely important. These teeth are not permanent and will eventually fall out, however, lack of proper care can cause them to drop out prematurely, leaving gaps. If that happens the other teeth may try to fill the gap, causing bad alignment in the baby’s permanent teeth.
You should start caring for the baby’s gums even before the teeth come in. Wipe their gums off with a washcloth or gauze or use a baby-sized toothbrush, but no toothpaste. When the first tooth appears, brush it with plain water.
The American Dental Association recommends that children see a dentist by age 1, when six to eight teeth are in place, to spot any potential problems and advise parents about preventive care.
Around age three, when your child is old enough to spit it out, toothpaste is okay to use. Make sure the toothpaste contains fluoride but use very little for small children. Do not let them swallow it. Overdoses of fluoride are dangerous for children.