If you are a parent, you know that a teething baby can make life a little harder. Especially when that baby is upset and in pain. So, Smile Reef wants to talk a little bit about baby teeth, why we have them, and what we can do to help your baby get through this uncomfortable time for their mouth.
Why are Baby Teeth Important
We grow up and know that we have baby teeth and then permanent teeth. But why are baby teeth even necessary? They fall out anyway so why do we even have baby teeth in the first place? Baby teeth get your mouth ready for permanent teeth. They help the babies start to properly chew and eat. They are there for your children to learn to talk. If your baby has good and healthy teeth then that can help them form words better. And of course, they are a placeholder for their permanent teeth to start coming in.
When your child gets teeth, they come in a certain order and a certain timeline. Around six months they will start getting some teeth, but some children can start as early as three months. An interesting fact, even though we see their baby teeth coming in between three and six months, their baby teeth start forming before the babies are even born. This happens in the second trimester. When your child is around three that is when all of their teeth will be in. They should have 20 teeth in their little mouth.
Signs Your Baby is Teething
Parents will need to learn the signs of when your baby is teething. Some kids have no symptoms at all. You are very lucky if that is your child. Other babies let you know that it is painful. And often you question if they are sick or teething. When your baby is teething the signs are, your baby can be upset, have swelling in their gums, rub their ears, have a mild temperature, or even have a face rash. You see how teething can be confusing as a parent?
How to Relieve Teething Pain
As a parent, if your baby is in pain we want to help. There are a few things that you can do for your baby. There are teething toys that they can chew on, like a teething ring. You can also get a chilled washcloth and let them chew on that. The cold and chewing can help relieve some pain. With a clean finger, you can gently rub their gums or you can give them, depending on their age, chilled food like applesauce or yogurt. Of course, if the symptoms get worse or do not go away then contact your pediatrician.
Brushing Baby’s Teeth
Brushing your baby’s teeth is important at a young age. Before their teeth even come in you will want to wipe their mouth down with a washcloth to clean their mouth. When their teeth start to come in brush their teeth twice a day with a soft bristle baby toothbrush. Add a rice size fluoride toothpaste and encourage them to spit it out.
Cavities & Tooth Decay
Nobody likes cavities. Just like permanent teeth, baby teeth can get cavities. Cavities and tooth decay can happen to your baby so only put water, milk, or formula in the baby’s bottles. You do not want liquid or food to sit on the baby’s teeth while they are asleep so make sure you take them away while they are asleep. Try to avoid giving your baby unhealthy snacks like candy and soda. Try to give them healthy foods. This is better for their teeth and their bodies. Limit their juice intake and never dip their pacifier in sugar or honey. If you see a white spot on your baby’s teeth make an appointment with your dentist that is the first sign of tooth decay.
Keeping your baby’s teeth healthy is very important. If you are looking for a dentist or have any questions give Smile Reef a call. We are happy to help your child.