As many a harried parent can attest, when your child starts to get their first teeth, usually between six to 12 months, it can be a painful and trying experience for all. Babies are born with all 20 “baby” or primary teeth already in their mouth, just below the gum line. By age three, all your child’s teeth should be in, but what do you need to know to survive your baby’s first teeth? Check out Dr. Lori Lemire’s Family Dentistry‘s tips for teething below and find out!
Look For The Signs
Babies who are teething are sure to show signs of it; maybe the child is feeling extremely uncomfortable during the waking hours, or not sleeping well at night. Other signs that your child may be teething can be: loss of appetite, drooling, irritability and general fussiness. These teething indicators can show up three to five days before the actual teeth break though, though often they end soon after the tooth shows itself.
Calming A Baby Who Is Teething
The best help you can be to a child who is teething is to gently massage their swollen, tender gums as their teeth begin to pop up. Making sure you lightly rub the gums with a clean, cool spoon, finger or cold moist fabric can relieve some of the teething pain. Teething rings and pacifiers can also be helpful as well.
Stay Away From Gels And Tablets
According to the FDA it is not recommended that you give babies under two years of age any gels or tablets like Orajel or Anbesol, as they contain Benzocaine. This is because Benzocaine has been known to cause a very severe, though rare, condition called methemoglobinemia which effects the amount of oxygen the blood carries. The FDA has also said that parents should avoid homeopathic teething tablets and gels as well, as they have not been proven to provide any health benefits or relieve symptoms.
When To Get Help
Some traditional teething signs could actually be signs that your child has an illness, so be aware of them and when you need to call the pediatrician. If they have a fever that goes above 101F°, or lasts more than a few days, it may be a good idea to call your dentist or pediatrician. Also, if your child has no teeth after 15 months, be sure to contact your health care provider.
After They Come In
When those teeth arrive, make you care for them well by cleaning them twice a day with a clean cloth. You can also switch to soft-bristled toothbrush and use a rice-sized bit of fluoride toothpaste to brush your little one’s teeth. As babies can’t spit until they are about three, it is ok if they swallow this little amount.
It’s also time to think about regular dental checkups. The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry both recommend that you schedule a first dental appointment after a child’s teeth come in and before their first birthday.
Teething will continue for about two years, but after those first teeth, your child begins to get used to the teething process, and often it is much less painful. Making sure you take the time to make your child comfortable with dental care early on can help them have a lifetime of healthy gums and teeth.
If you have questions about teething or oral care for you or your children, contact Coos Bay children’s dentist Dr. Lori Lemire today.