Every baby is different. Your baby’s teeth will most likely start to come in around 6 months. Learn about some common teething issues for babies.
The chewy facts on your baby’s teeth
Although some babies are born with their first teeth (also called milk teeth), others may take 6 months, or one year, or up to two-and-a-half years to get them. Every baby is different. The second teeth generally start to come in at about six years old.
If your baby did not have teeth from birth, he or she can sometimes suffer a slight, uncomfortable rise in temperature as his or her first chompers come in and push through the gums. This may make your baby irritable and cause him or her to wake up crying in the night. It may also add to the already great volume of drool to which you’ve been accustomed.
During this time, your baby will require extra soothing and comfort.
Because teething can make your little one uncomfortable, there are other complaints for which it is, sometimes, incorrectly assumed at fault. These can include: bad temper, rashes, runny nose, crying rashes, and extra dirty diapers.
If your baby’s behavior changes, in a way that makes you concerned, you should talk to your doctor or fertility specialist. Teething should not make your baby sick.
During teething, your baby may experience sore gums that can turn red. He or she may have one cheek more flushed than the other. Your baby may also seem more anxious and increase their drooling and gnawing.
Ways to help
1. Cuddles – Providing extra physical comfort to your baby will help both you and your baby deal with the discomfort and anxiety.
2. Teething gel – Sugar-free teething gels can help your baby’s gums and mouth adjust to the discomfort of teething. They can be purchased without a prescription and should not be used on baby’s under four months old.
3. Medicine – If your baby is not responding well to teething or exhibiting more extreme symptoms, you may need to consult your doctor or fertility specialist about medical treatment.
Teething ring – This is a chewable ring that your baby is able to chomp down on. The material is safe for your baby to chew on and the ring shape prevents him or her from choking on it.
When your baby’s collection is complete, he or she will have 20 primary teeth. Ten at the top and ten at the bottom. From the first tooth that comes in, however, your baby’s teeth will need to be properly cleaned and looked after.
As soon as his or her teeth appear, make sure you are brushing them. It’s recommended to do this twice a day – in the morning and before bedtime.
As for technique, place a smear of fluoride toothpaste on a small toothbrush. There are toothpastes made specifically for babies, but often the sweeter taste comes at the cost of fluoride protection. If you are unsure what type to use, check with your doctor, fertility specialist or family dentist.
Setting a good example of dental hygiene for yourself will allow your baby to learn by watching as he or she grows.
Like giving candy to your baby?
Though your little addition is probably as sweet as a lollipop, it’s best to avoid sugary foods while his or her teeth are coming in. These may make your baby’s eyes light up but they can also cause tooth decay in the early stages of teething.
Instead, offer healthy alternatives to sweet food – fresh fruit, raw vegetables and water are great substitutes for candy, cakes and sodas. The sweet foods and juices you do feed them should be limited to mealtimes. Avoid giving him or her sweetened drinks right before bed.
Beginning your baby’s eating habits this way will encourage their savory taste buds to develop.
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