Baby teeth normally start making an appearance from around 4 months onwards. However, every baby is different so don’t panic if your child doesn’t follow the same timetable as everyone else. Signs that a baby is teething include an urge to chew on things and an increase in drooling. Sometimes teething is completely painless but it can also make babies uncomfortable and they can be unsettled and unhappy as a result. You baby’s teeth are incredibly important as they will be crucial in helping your baby to form words and sounds to speak, as well as to chew food. The state of your child’s dental health can also affect the way the jaw grows.
This is why it’s so important to notice when your baby is teething and to do everything you can to help with the process. If your baby is suffering particularly during the teething process then try a cold teething ring or flannel for your baby to suck. You can also try rubbing the gums or asking for information about teething gels or an infant acetaminophen. Remember that teething should not cause a fever and baby asprin is not necessary for teething – baby asprin can also cause Reye’s syndrome, which can lead to death in under 18s so avoid this at all costs.
If your child is teething then there’s no reason for this to interfere with breastfeeding, or with feeding via a bottle or a sippy cup – simply carry on as you would as normal. Remember not to give your child either a full bottle or a sippy cup of juice or milk while they’re in their crib. The risk here is that the liquid can pool in the child’s mouth and may cause tooth decay. Bottles usually become redundant after the child is a year old and at this point it’s a good idea to give him or her water or plain milk in between meals – avoid juices, flavoured milks and other soft drinks as these tend to have a huge amount of sugar in them.
You can start brushing your baby’s teeth as soon as you see the first one. There’s no need for toothbrushes for children under the age of 1 – use a wet washcloth or gauze instead for the teeth and gums. After your child turns 1 use a soft baby toothbrush and a little fluoride-free toothpaste (this is safe to be swallowed). Once your child has teeth then start taking them to the dentist – this will help them get used to the dentist surgery environment and also ensure that dental health is being monitored from the earliest age possible, don’t wait until issues arise.
If you need further information on how to care for your baby’s teeth, then contact your local Smile Pad surgery today!