We can all agree there is nothing sweeter than a baby. Everything about them, they skin, hair, smell and their precious smile.
Who doesn’t love it when their baby’s chew on their fingers? That is, until their baby’s teeth start popping out. What once was precious now has turned into a painful experience you wish you could change back.
Long before the biting begins, the signs and symptoms of your baby’s teeth coming in begin to show up. Every child is different; some have it easy getting their teeth while others suffer with each one.
Symptoms known to associate with a baby that is teething are often mistaken for a cold. The symptoms can vary and range from nothing at all to becoming severe.
The following symptoms most children will experience at least one when a tooth is getting ready to break the gums.
- trouble falling asleep
- runny nose
- rash around the chin or mouth
- red cheeks
- swollen gums
- increased need to suck
- rejection of breast or bottle
When to expect that first tooth
Although every child is different, it is typical with babies to get their first tooth between 6-12 months old. If your child hasn’t gotten their first tooth by then, do not panic, children mature at different rates. Once that first tooth comes through, the rest begin to follow the leader. A full set of “primary, or baby teeth” should be in by 3 years old.
Little baby teeth usually break through two by two the first usually being the lower middle incisor. This can be a difficult period for you and your baby.
Just because you cannot see anything yet doesn’t mean it’s not happening. If you notice a different acting baby maybe being cranky, or more saliva than usual trust your instincts.
Other things like his butt cheeks or facial cheeks may turn red or you see hives on either place. You may see around the mouth dark, red sore areas from the extra activity or extra saliva. You and your baby will have a few rough days and some nights, extra love and good night’s sleep with help a lot.
The following is a timetable you can follow as each tooth should be in.
- 6 months: lower central incisors – cutting teeth
- 7 months: upper central incisors
- 7.5 months: lower lateral incisors
- 9 months: upper lateral incisors
- 12 months: lower first molars
- 14 months: upper first molars
- 16 months: lower canines
- 18 months: upper canines
- 20 months: lower second molars
- 24 months: upper second molars
How can I help my baby with teething?
Babies that are cutting teeth can be miserable and in a lot of pain. There are many ideas of how you can ease it and help them get those teeth through and pass the pain.
- Apply gentle pressure
Light pressure massaging the gums with your finger helps relieve tension where the tooth is coming through.
- Cold chews
Chewing on something that is cold will reduce painful inflammation helping with irritability. One easy way is to crush ice placing it in a washcloth letting your child chew on it for 10 minutes at a time.
- Teething ring
Teething rings or sticks are good for stimulating the gums. Be sure to buy the firm plastic, rubber and silicone teething ring and not the soft plastic ones. Other teethers with different surfaces such as studs will be a help to the gums.
- Teething Gels
Before using a teething gel talk with your pediatrician. This should be your last resort. Benzocaine is an anesthetic found in gels, swabs, and liquids.
The FDA claims Benzocaine, in rare cases has caused methemoglobinemia. Levels of oxygen in the blood lower to dangerous conditions. In 2006 the FDA placed a safety warning cautioning of products containing benzocaine in children under two unless your doctor recommends them.
Anytime your baby is running a fever and you aren’t sure what the problem is, consult your pediatrician. Depending on the child’s age he/she will determine what is right to give for relief of fever.
When to Expect the Tooth Fairy
What makes those cute little teeth fall out anyway? Well, it’s because permanent teeth are pushing them out saying it’s time to let them in.
Permanent teeth are behind the baby teeth pushing themselves in at a slow rate. Once the permanent teeth are in place, they will remain there. By the time a child reaches the age of 12 or 13, they should have all their full set of permanent teeth. In all there are 28 permanent teeth, 8 more teeth than what they had as babies.
The tooth fairy has an important job picking up all those precious little teeth and keeping them safe for all the moms and dads.
Taking care of those pearly whites
Now that your baby has all his teeth you need to make sure they are well taken care of. Even little babies can have dental trips that aren’t fun if proper cleaning isn’t done. Even with baby teeth, brushing is a important part of your babies health and dental health. Baby’s teeth aren’t strong enough just yet for all that adults do for dental care.
Here are a few ways you can help keep those baby teeth healthy and shiny for as long as your baby has them.
- Minerals and Vitamins
Make sure your baby has adequate amounts of phosphorus, calcium, fluoride. Other vitamins and minerals are important as well. Vitamin C is important for gum health.
- Limit sugars
Avoid as much refined sugar as possible in your babies diet.
- Cheese does the trick
Snacks such as Swiss and Cheddar cheese are not only great for supplying calcium; they also help the mouth create saliva. The more saliva, the more help with clearing the mouth of acids and sugars.
Where did that bottle go?
No matter how much your baby love the bottle, the sooner you can take it away, the better off their teeth will be. Getting your child to drink from a cup is the key to maintaining healthy teeth.
Reduce the amount of juice
Cutting back on sugar means juice too. Only offer juice with meals and not as a drink throughout the day.
The FDA says it’s OK to go ahead and use toothpaste with fluoride. Use no more than the size of a dot until your child turns 3
You only have a few years of having those cute little baby teeth. Keep them strong and healthy for your baby by doing as much as possible while they have fun just being little.