Most parents are always eager to see the emergence of their baby’s first tooth. Although it is a joyful milestone, you should, however, understand the likely signs of the process. Nonetheless, every child’s experience will be different, and you can take some proactive measures to make it a pain-free experience for your baby.
Teething is the process where an infant develops their first visible set of teeth through the gums and can be visible in the mouth. It occurs within the first six to nine months of birth, and sometimes can take place earlier or even beyond nine months.
Most often, the lower front tooth is expected to grow first, with the top teeth following. By the age 3, a child is expected to have developed a full set of 20 baby teeth.
What Signs Should you Look out For?
Common signs of teething include:
- Biting & chewing
- Swollen gums
- Chin rash
- Irregular sleep patterns
- Ear rubbing
- Reduction in appetite
You will observe any of these signs about four days before the tooth begins to grow out of the gums and three days after the growth.
A possible situation, though uncommon, is the growth of an “eruption cyst” which covers the primary tooth with a fluid. Do not panic as the tooth will erupt from the liquid at the appropriate time.
Several schools of thought have linked rashes, diarrhea, and fever to teeth growth, but this has not yet been scientifically proven. Thus, such a situation might signify an underlying health condition for your child, not necessarily a sign of tooth growth.
How do you Help the Child?
Teething babies get the most relief from cold and/or pressure on the affected area. This can be applied with:
- Chilled teething rings
- Cold, wet washcloths
- Chilled pacifiers
- Massaging baby’s gums
Please avoid freezing the pacifier or teething ring because it can burn if it remains in the mouth for a more extended period. The conventional remedy of applying alcohol to the affected area is no longer appropriate.
Moreover, some over-the-counter drugs can also help if used in the right dosage. Do not apply numbing agents on babies below age two unless it has been recommended by a physician.
Finally, do not forget to bring your children for the first dental visit as soon as they turn one year old. The earlier you get them accustomed to such routine, the higher their chances of maintaining their oral health.