Handling Your Child’s First Teeth
Seeing your baby’s first tooth can be quite an adorable moment. However, getting there is not going to be an easy one, as the growing can give an uncomfortable experience, not only to him but also to you, with more coming your way. So, Baby Insider has come up with a guide to help you and your baby deal with this period.
When do your child’s teeth start growing?
One thing that might surprise you is that your child’s teeth actually starts developing while he is still in the womb. By the time of birth, tooth buds are are already present. There are even rare cases where his first tooth might be already slightly visible at this point.
On the average, though, your baby’s first tooth will start breaking out of the gums when he is between four and seven months. However, some babies might actually start growing teeth as early as three months, while others might have to wait around a year or so.
Generally, the middle two teeth at the bottom are the first to appear, which are then followed by the corresponding two teeth on the top. The teeth at the sides and back then consecutively appear, with the second molars coming in last, usually around the age of three. By this time, your child should have a complete set of 20 baby teeth.
One thing that you might notice during this stage is that your child’s teeth are not coming out straight. Don’t worry about it, as these will eventually correct themselves over time.
What are the symptoms of teething
One of the most obvious signs that your baby’s teeth might already be starting to break out is that he is becoming a lot more restless. This is because the tooth is starting to press onto the gums, which leads to an uncomfortable feeling. The first tooth is almost always the most painful for your little one, so you can expect a lot of crying from him during this time.
One way babies try to relieve the pain is by biting, the idea here being that the pressure from the bite will negate the pain. They will bite on anything that they can get their hands on, which is why you should have a lot of teething toys ready. Also, if you are breastfeeding, be prepared, as he will likely chomp on your nipples every now and then.
Oddly enough, even with all those biting, your baby might actually refuse to eat at times. This is because the suction during feeding can make the uncomfortable feeling of his sore gums even worse. You will also likely notice that he drools a lot, something that you need to take care of, as the excessive drips can cause rashes around his mouth, chin and even the neck, which can be irritating.
How can you help your little one?
As all of the symptoms add up to a very uncomfortable feeling, your best recourse is to try and lessen these as possible.
One useful trick to lessen the pain your little one is feeling is by gently massaging his gum. Use your finger or a teething ring to gently rub the area around where the tooth is starting to emerge. Your baby will find this very soothing and will calm him considerably.
As have already been mentioned earlier, you want to have lots of safe teething toys for him to chew on. You want to be particularly careful about the paint used in these toys, as some of them might contain lead. Also, be sure that they are sturdy enough and won’t come apart into smaller pieces that your kid might swallow.
In case the pain persists, it might be time to five your little one some medication. Be sure that what you are giving to him is appropriate for his age. As an important reminder, never give aspiring to young children.
When do you call your child’s doctor?
As the whole teething period can be a rather tense one, you might be tempted to call the doctor at the slightest sign of discomfort. Don’t, keep in mind that all of these are normal. Your child will gradually outgrow them as his last tooth emerges. However, if the symptoms worsen, or if he has a low-grade fever for two consecutive days, you can phone in for help, as these might be signs of illness.
Next, we take a look at some of teething myths and misconceptions.