As parents, it’s natural to worry about the dental health and development of our little ones. One major milestone in a baby’s life is teething—the process of growing their first teeth.
Teething can start as early as 3 months old or up until 24 months old. We need to be aware of the signs and symptoms that indicate when our child is teething so we can help them through this difficult but exciting stage.
What are the different types of teeth?
- Incisors – These are the first teeth to appear, typically between 6-12 months of age. These small, flat teeth help with biting and chewing food.
- Canines – Also known as cuspids, these sharp teeth come around 16-20 months of age. They help with tearing and shredding food.
- Molars – Large and flat teeth that come in around 24-30 months of age. These are the largest teeth and help with chewing food before it is swallowed.
What are the stages of teething?Teething is divided into five main phases:
- Pre-eruption phase – This is when the tooth starts to develop under the gum line but isn’t visible yet.
- Eruption phase – During this stage, the tooth breaks through the gum line and is now visible outside of the gums.
- Shedding phase – This is when the baby’s primary teeth start to loosen and fall out.
- Eruption of the permanent teeth – In this stage, the baby’s adult or permanent teeth begin to erupt.
- Completion phase – Once all of the permanent teeth have come in, your baby has completed the teething process.
What are the signs of teething?
Every baby is unique when it comes to teething, so there’s no set timeline for when every single tooth will appear. However, some common signs and symptoms of teething include:
- swollen gums
- loss of appetite
- biting or chewing on their hands
How can I help my baby during the teething process?
The best way to help your baby while they are teething is to provide them with lots of comfort and support. Try giving them items to chew on such as teething rings or cold foods like a popsicle or icy fruit. You can also gently massage their gums and give them age-appropriate pain relief if needed.
It’s important to remember that while they are going through this process, they may not always be in the best of moods. Try to be patient and understanding, as teething can be uncomfortable for them. Overall, the key is to provide your baby with adequate support during this challenging time.
How to prevent tooth decay in baby teeth?
It’s important to properly care for your baby’s teeth even before their first tooth appears. Here are a few tips:
- Brush your baby’s gums with a soft-bristled toothbrush after every feeding, even if there are no visible teeth yet
- Make sure to properly store your baby’s toothbrush and replace it every 3-4 months
- Avoid sharing food, utensils, and toothbrushes between family members
- Limit sugary drinks and foods
- Take your baby for regular dental visits to check for any potential problems early on
It is important to remember that teething can be an uncomfortable experience for your baby, but it is also a natural part of their growth and development. With the proper knowledge and support, you can easily help them through this challenging stage. With patience, comfort and proper care, your little one will soon have a beautiful smile full of healthy teeth.