Baby’s First Tooth: What Parents Should Know
As a parent, you want to do everything you can to make sure your baby is healthy and happy. So when that first tooth starts poking through, it’s natural to have questions. What should you do? How can you help your baby through the teething process? Here’s what parents need to know about their babys first tooth.
When to expect your baby’s first tooth
Congratulations on your new bundle of joy! Seeing that sweet smile is sure to put a smile on your face. It may surprise you to hear that it can be quite normal for babies to start getting their first teeth as early as three months old or as late as after their first birthday. To make sure you aren’t surprised, watch for signs like increased drooling, trouble enjoying solid foods, and tender gums when touched. Until then keep snuggling and enjoy those toothless grins!
Most babies will develop teeth between the 6 month and 12 month age. The first teeth to come in are generally the lower inner teeth, and at around 3 years of age kids will have all of their baby teeth.
How to care for your baby’s new tooth
Caring for your baby’s new tooth is an important part of keeping them healthy and promoting good oral hygiene habits that will last a lifetime. Start by making sure to brush their new tooth every morning and night with a soft-bristled child-sized toothbrush and non-fluoride toothpaste. Taking your baby to regular pediatric dental appointments is also key so that the dental team can offer more tips on how to properly care for the new tooth, monitor development and look out for early signs of potential problems. Lastly, be sure to limit treats between meals, as these sugars provide food for formative bacteria which can cause cavities and interfere with proper development of the teeth.
What to do if your baby is in pain
It’s always heartbreaking to see our babies in pain, so it’s natural as parents to want to comfort and soothe them. First of all, try to stay calm which will help your child feel secure and safe and allow you to distinguish what kind of pain they are experiencing. Infant paracetamol is a great way to help provide quick-acting relief for external pain such as teething. Cold teething chew toys are helpful as well, or massaging your baby’s gums with clean fingers. If you offer a teething biscuit make sure to monitor the size of the piece they’re chewing on, as they can break off and lead to a choking hazard. Weight appropriate acetaminophen may also help relieve pain and make your child more comfortable while teething. Additionally, find out ways to distract them from the distress by holding them close or singing a song or playing a game. This can also be beneficial for your mental health as much as your baby’s!
Teething tips for parents
Having a baby means that the first few months of life can become a minefield for parents. With teething comes sore gums, dribbling and sleepless nights but there are plenty of things you can do to make it easier. For example, cool washcloths or teethers are great to use as these provide relief from the general discomfort associated with teething. Additionally, if you have an infant start introducing foods such as applesauce and yogurt when they initially start showing signs of teething. This can help them to adjust more quickly than if you wait until their first tooth is in full force. Lastly, make sure that your baby is getting plenty of fluids throughout the day and nighttime; some experts recommend giving infants additional vitamin drops containing iron during this phase to ensure they intake enough nutrients. As a parent it can be overwhelming so make sure you take time out for yourself too!
The importance of dental care for children
Looking after your child’s teeth is an important task that requires patience, dedication and knowledge. It is a fundamental part of maintaining good oral health and sets the foundation for future dental care. Practicing proper dental care during childhood can help protect not only their oral health, but also their overall physical health and wellbeing. Establishing good habits early gives children a lifetime of healthy smiles. Taking the time to understand and practice proper brush technique, flossing, visits to the dentist, healthy dietary options and more can provide children with many long-term benefits. When it comes to dental care for children, it pays off in spades. Make sure to book your first pediatric dental appointment as soon as your child gets their first tooth.
Although it can be stressful to see your child in pain, remember that this is a normal part of development. By following the proper care instructions and using some of our suggested teething tips, you can help make this process as smooth as possible for both you and your little one. And don’t forget the importance of starting good dental habits early – they will thank you for it later!