As a parent, you hopefully want the best for your child. From feeding them a well-balanced diet and ensuring they get plenty of exercise to providing them with a happy home and good education, it is easy to see how parents feel overwhelmed. One surprising thing many parents avoid focusing on is their baby's oral health because they feel the temporary teeth are not important. Without making their oral health a priority, your baby may develop dental and developmental issues. This guide will help you understand a few important facts about your baby's teeth.
They Erupt at Different Times
You should stop comparing your baby's dental development with the development of your friends' babies. Each baby is different, so your baby's dental development may occur at different times.
Understanding the averages is helpful, though, so you can make sure your baby receives the right care. In most cases, primary teeth may start to erupt around 6 months of age with other teeth coming in throughout your baby's first few years.
If you have not seen any teeth erupt by the time your baby is a year old, consult a pediatric dentist.
Teething Is Painful
The eruption of teeth through the gum tissue can be painful. Your baby may struggle with sleeping, and they may cry a good amount because of the discomfort. Many babies will drool excessively and have a strong desire to chew on items to help ease their pain.
If you notice your baby's gums are red and swollen and they are constantly chewing on their hands, fingers, toys, or other objects, they are most likely teething.
Make sure to be patient and understanding during this time. Thankfully, there are ways to ease your baby's discomfort.
Use clean fingers to massage your baby's gums periodically. The act of massage increases blood circulation, which eases away inflammation and pain.
Consider placing a teething ring in the refrigerator or freezer to make it cold. The cold teething ring will numb the pain while reducing the swelling of their gum tissue.
Also, talk to your pediatrician about over-the-counter medications that you can give your baby. Topical gels that are applied to the gum tissue can provide some relief.
Dental Care Is Still Important
Even though your baby's first teeth are not permanent, dental care and oral hygiene are still necessary.
Most experts recommend the first dental appointment about 6 months after the first tooth erupts. If your baby has not developed any teeth by the age of 1, they should see the dentist at this time.
During this first appointment, the dentist will inspect the mouth and any existing teeth for signs of distress. X-rays may be necessary if your baby is not developing teeth properly or if the eruption is later than normal.
The dentist will also educate you on how to properly care for your baby's teeth over time. Even though they may only have a few teeth, brushing and flossing is still necessary.
Use a soft-bristled toothbrush designed for infants. Also, toothpaste that contains fluoride is important for strengthening the tooth enamel and overall dental health.
Many parents believe dental exams and brushing are not important at such a young age, but this is not true.
Early care offers many benefits. Not only will your child's teeth develop in the most effective, aligned, and healthy manner possible, but they will also learn the importance of healthy teeth and gums and oral hygiene at a young age. This education will follow them throughout their life.
Your baby's teeth are imperative. This guide will help you understand their importance and how to properly care for your baby's early smile.