There are many parts of raising babies where you have to work: sleeping, giving them time to face down to help them turn around, teaching them how to eat solid foods, etc. But baby teeth? Those who arrive no matter what you do, whether you have prepared yourself or not. And although you may not want to say goodbye to that gummy smile, it is better to be ready. But when do babies start teething? And the arrival of teeth comes with all the fevers, tears and gum pain that everyone says? Donald L. Chi, D.D.S., Ph.D., winner of the 2018 Pediatric Dentist of the Year award from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), gives us an idea of what to expect when those teeth begin to appear.
Yes, you can expect those first pearly targets at the turn of the half-year mark. "The front middle teeth are the first," says Dr. Chi. "Then, the first set of molars, the canines, and finally the second set of molars in the back of the mouth.
Babies have a total of 20 teeth, and most babies have a complete set of teeth at 3 years."You can check this practical teething chart for babies to see where to look first.
One thing to keep in mind: While newborns can be born with teeth, if you see something in your baby's mouth at an extremely early age, it is more likely to be what is called Epstein's Pearls, which are white cysts that they occur in 75% to 80% of newborns, says the AAPD. You should point them to your pediatrician, but they usually tend to disappear on their own and do not require treatment.
If your child does not have teeth by the time he turns 1, it is not an immediate reason to worry, especially if he also had a late flowering when it comes to teeth. Still, "All babies should have their first visit to the dentist around the time the first tooth sprouts, around 6 months of age, or before their first birthday at the latest"Says Dr. Chi. Even if the first one has not yet gone through the gums, schedule the visit.
Teething has been associated with everything from drooling and irritability to even fevers and diarrhea. In fact, every time a child seems to be between the ages of 0 and 2, a parent is likely to name the dentition as guilty. But is it?
"There are two common signs of teething: drooling excessively and chewing things like toys, books and fingers," says Dr. Chi. "Babies can also show signs of oral discomfort and irritability. Some people believe that teething causes health problems such as runny nose, fever, colds and earache, but these are myths. Babies bite for approximately 2.5 years, from 6 months to 3 years, which is a long time. Colds and minor illnesses that occur during this period of a baby's life are not related to teething. "
The problem in trying to predict a tooth before seeing it is that babies who are not teething can also be irritable and drooling, since Board reports:
(Researchers) found that there were no specific symptoms in more than 35 percent of babies with teething. In other words, children who don't have teeth often seem to have teething and not everyone has the same symptoms. What a nightmare for parents. "Despite hundreds of thousands of data points," explains study co-author Michael Macknin, a pediatrician at the Cleveland Clinic, "we couldn't determine when a child was denting before a tooth appeared."
So, if your baby has a high fever or has a case of feared diarrhea, he can't just blame his teeth, and it's better for a doctor to check things.
When you are sure that your baby is restless due to tooth problems, it is time to break the teething rings and other toys that are safe to chew. "Some babies like to chew a father's finger with their gums or a toothbrush," says Dr. Chi. "There are also teething pacifiers that can be filled with small pieces of frozen fruit, which babies can chew. But parents should avoid medications such as Anbesol, Orajel, Tylenol and other products marketed for teething babies."
"Pain relievers and the medications you rub on the gums are not necessary or useful since they wash from the baby's mouth in a matter of minutes, "adds a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)." Some medications that you rub on your child's gums can even be harmful if used too much and the child swallows an excessive amount. Stay away from teething tablets that contain the poisonous plant belladonna and gels with benzocaine. Belladonna and benzocaine are marketed to numb your child's pain, but the FDA has issued warnings against both due to possible side effects. "
In addition, the AAP warns against ties that contain BPA, or teething necklaces or bracelets that are made of amber, wood, marble or silicone. In addition to the fact that long teething necklaces can be a choking hazard "the use of these necklaces is not supported by modern science, "says the AAP. Instead, the AAP recommends moistening a washcloth, freezing it and letting the baby chew the cloth nice and cold.
Yes, even though they are baby teeth and eventually fall out, the way you treat them now can affect the roots of permanent teeth underneath. "In addition to visiting the dentist, there are two ways to care for baby teeth," says Dr. Chi. "First, avoid added sugars, including sugary drinks, juices and sweets. And then, brush your teeth and gums with a quantity of fluoride toothpaste about the size of a grain of rice twice a day. Fluoride toothpaste is safe when used in such small amounts. "
Of course, your baby may not be a willing participant, which is one more reason to go to that checkup. "Brushing a baby's teeth can be a challenge," says Dr. Chi. "Dentists can show parents ways to facilitate brushing."
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