What to do When Your Child Starts Teething

For new parents, a lot of information must be absorbed quickly in order to keep up with their baby’s development. Between trying to monitor when to switch to solid foods, recording frantic crawls across the living room floor, and deciphering first words, parents can have their hands full. Because a baby’s development occurs so quickly, some of the less glamorous, but still equally important, parts of that development can get overlooked.

Your child’s oral health development get easily get overlooked, but when a child starts teething means a lot for her overall health and comfort. A baby begins teething when her first set of teeth, referred to as primary teeth, begin to emerge through the gums.

What Age Does Teething Begin?

A baby typically starts teething around six months of age. However, it’s completely normal for teething to start as early as three months or as late as one year. By the time you child turns three, he will have developed all 20 primary teeth.

In most cases, the lower front teeth will form first, followed by the upper front teeth, which will generally start to emerge one to two months later.

Symptoms of Teething

How’s babies react to teething greatly depends on the child. Some babies will act fussier than usual when they begin to teeth. This may be due to the soreness and swelling in  the gums that occurs just prior to a tooth emerging.  These types of symptoms usually begin three to five days before the tooth shows, and then disappear after the tooth breaks through the skin. Conversely, some children show no signs of being affected by teething.

To help relieve the pressure built up in their gums, some babies will bite on toys or fingers. They may also start refusing to eat or drink because of the pain they’re experiencing.

Many babies will start to drool during teething, which can result in a rash developing on their chest, face, or chin.

These types of mild symptoms are nothing to be concerned over. Call your pediatrician if your baby’s symptoms become severe or don’t improve.

Helping Your Baby Feel Comfortable

Here are a few tips that will help your baby feel a little more comfortable while teething:

  • With a clean finger (or cold teething ring), gently rub your baby’s gums for about two minutes. Many babies find this treatment soothing, although they may fuss at first.
  • Give your baby safe objects in which to chew on.
  • When needed, give your baby an over-the-counter medication labeled for a child his or her age. Always make sure to read and follow the directions, and never give anyone under the age of 20 aspirin, as it has been linked to Reye syndrome.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that parents schedule their child’s first appointment with a dentist shortly after teething begins. Early treatment will allow Drs. Mo and G to spot any potential problems with your child’s oral development early on when easily treatable. Should you have any other questions about what to expect during teething or when to schedule an appointment, give us a call at Must Love Kids. We’ll be happy to answer any of your questions.

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