Seeing the first baby tooth, a tiny white bud sprouting in your little one’s mouth is one of the most exciting milestones in your journey as a parent. Treating baby teeth contributes largely to the long-term oral health of your baby. Therefore, being as knowledgeable as possible about teething is extremely important. This article particularly covers when the teething process for children begins, the discomfort and pain a child feels during this time, how to handle it, how to care properly for baby teeth to avoid cavities and decay, and your child’s first visit to our dental clinic near you.
A baby’s first tooth
First, it is necessary to know that there is a wide range of variability about when exactly a baby starts teething. For some, it could occur around four months; for others, it may be closer to 12 months until the first tooth appears. From the time the first tooth appears until around 24 months, a baby grows 20 primary teeth. (10 on the top and 10 on the bottom). Remembering that dental care starts even before the first tooth appears is key. Make it a habit to use a soft wet washcloth to rub and clean the baby’s gums gently. It helps stimulate the gums and also helps implement a daily oral care regimen for you and your child.
How to ease the discomfort associated with teething
Teething or developing teeth naturally causes discomfort or soreness for a child. You will notice differences in their behaviour; they may become fussier and have difficulty falling asleep during the first teething stage. The very first eruptions of teeth are often the worst. It gets better once the baby acclimates to the feeling of teeth. The following are some of the common symptoms of teething:
- Excessive drooling
- A mild fever
- Red/sore gums
- Being fussy and irritable
- A runny nose
- A mild rash around the mouth
- Loss of appetite
While the above symptoms are common, parents should always be cautious about extreme symptoms since they could point to a more serious health issue. One of the best and easiest ways to ease a child’s discomfort is by providing them with something safe to chew on. Cold teething rings are quite effective in soothing and numbing pain or discomfort, but remember to allow them to unthaw after you take them out of the freezer to avoid damaging gums. If the pain causes too much discomfort, speak to our dentist in Waterloo about any further measures, including giving the child an infant-strength pain reliever.
Caring for baby teeth
As mentioned, cleaning and caring for baby teeth is essential even before they appear. After cleaning and massaging babies’ gums, it will be easier to brush their teeth once they erupt. Using toothpaste is not necessary immediately, and using low-fluoride toothpaste is okay. Once the child is 3 years of age, you can use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Start brushing your teeth twice a day as early as possible.
The Canadian Dental Association (CDA) recommends the first visit to our childrens dentist near you within the first year. It helps make the environment at our dental office familiar to the child, which will prevent developing an unnecessary aversion to dental visits when the child grows older. Our pediatric dentist in Waterloo will check if the development of teeth is normal and if there are no serious dental problems that need early attention. They also will not hesitate to offer children-friendly dental tips.