September 16, 2019
How Teething Fits into Infant Development
Congratulations on the arrival of your new baby! So much is going on through your mind as you hold your little one in your arms. Before you know it, your child will begin teething, which is a normal part of infant development. Most babies teeth between six and ten months of age, and most children have all their primary teeth by the time they are 30 months old.
Your baby’s two bottom front teeth should erupt first, followed by the two upper front teeth. You will notice bumps on your little one’s gums when the time comes. Some infants experience mild symptoms with slight irritation of the gum tissue, while others may become cranky, and may even have a mild fever. Your baby may have red and swollen gums, may be fussier than usual, may refuse to eat, or may drool more than usual. A teething baby will want to bite and chew on objects more, and may not sleep as well. Symptoms of teething may occur over a few days or even weeks before the tooth finally emerges through the gumline.
Keep in mind that teething will not cause high fever, diarrhea, runny nose, cough, or rashes on the body. If your child experiences any of these symptoms, something else is likely going on, so make sure to schedule a visit to your child’s pediatrician.
How Can You Help?
If your teething baby seems uncomfortable, there are some ways to help. Rub your baby’s gums using a clean finger or a moistened gauze pad. The pressure can help ease your baby’s discomfort. You can also use a cold washcloth or a chilled teething ring to help soothe your child’s gums.
Excessive drooling can cause skin irritation, so make sure you dry your baby’s chin using a clean cloth. If your child is especially cranky, you may want to consider using over-the-counter pain medication as recommended by your child’s pediatrician or pediatric dentist.
Caring for Your Child’s Teeth
Even before the first pearly white erupts, you should start cleaning your baby’s gums at least twice a day using a soft, clean washcloth or a soft infant toothbrush. The cleansing can help prevent bacteria from building up in your baby’s mouth.
When the first pearly white emerges, brush using a small, soft-bristled brush. Use a smear of fluoride toothpaste no larger than a grain of rice until your child learns to spit at around age 3. From that point on, you can switch to a pea-sized dollop of toothpaste. Make sure to supervise your child’s brushing time.
It’s also important to begin taking your child to your pediatric dentist for routine dental checkups. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends scheduling a child’s first dental visit after the first tooth erupts and no later than the first birthday. Establishing dental care early on in life can help set the stage for a lifetime of healthy smiles.
Quality Pediatric Dental Care in Phoenix Arizona
Visit Jet Set Smiles Pediatric Dentistry to learn more about teething, and how it fits into your infant’s development. Our exceptional, child-friendly staff is committed to delivering quality, gentle care in a happy and comfortable environment. We strive to develop a partnership with you aimed at ensuring your newcomer’s smile is off to a great start!