Did you know that most babies are actually born with all 20 of their primary teeth? Of course, the teeth usually aren’t visible yet and lie below the gum line until they start to break through between 6 and 12 months old. Typically, the first teeth to erupt are the bottom two front teeth, followed by the top two front ones. By the time they turn 3, most toddlers have all 20 teeth visible and the days of teething are behind them.
Teething doesn’t affect all children equally. Some show no signs of discomfort at all, while others may find the process simply miserable. Here are some ways to help your child through this sometimes difficult time.
– Using a clean finger, massage the gums a few times a day for a minute or two. The counter pressure often relieves some of the pain and discomfort.
– Sometimes a cool washcloth or chilled spoon can help soothe gums, as long as the parent or caregiver is in direct supervision and holding it themselves.
– Offer safe, clean items for your baby to chew on such as age-appropriate teething rings or toys.
– Be sure to dry the drool as often as possible to prevent skin irritation. You can also apply a lotion or cream that is safe for babies to create a barrier that protects the skin.
If nothing else seems to be helping, talk to your doctor about using an appropriate pain reliever such as acetaminophen that is made for babies. Make sure you find out the correct dosage for their age and weight.
The FDA doesn’t recommend the use of remedies that include benzocaine in children under 2 unless approved by a medical professional. The same goes for homeopathic products such as the once popular teething tablets, as they have not been approved by the FDA and the ones that were tested had levels of belladonna that were greater than what the label suggested and could be dangerous, especially for small children.
Once teeth begin to come in, many parents wonder when they should schedule their child’s first dental appointment. Both the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend that after the first tooth appears, a child should visit the dentist within six months. If no teeth have erupted by their first birthday, it’s a good idea to bring them in for a checkup as well. To schedule your child’s first appointment, call our office today at 509-532-1111.
Or office in Spokane is located at:
3151 E. 28th Ave.
Spokane, WA 99223
Office phone # 509-532-1111