One of the big milestones of a newborn’s first months is when that first tooth breaks through the gums. The big occasion usually happens at around 6 months, sometimes earlier, sometimes a lot later. There is a wide range as to what is considered normal.
Signs that a tooth is coming include excessive drooling, a tendency to want to chew on something and, sometimes, fussiness or even a slight fever. Sometimes, teeth come in with no adverse symptoms at all. But more often than not, it’s all a parent can do to keep the child comfortable.
If your infant is experiencing teething discomfort, try giving him something safe and soft to chew on or a cold teething ring. Some children’s dentists do not recommend the use of a numbing gel, while others say a tiny bit is okay but avoid excessive use. If there is fever with teething, administer a little Tylenol in an age appropriate amount and definitely see the doctor if the fever persists.
When is the best time for the baby’s first visit to the dentist? Usually within six months after that first tooth pops up or when the child is a year old, whichever comes soonest. This will ensure that any problems with tooth development are detected early, and the best preventive strategies are put in place.
Meanwhile, healthy oral hygiene habits are a good idea from the very start of life. When the child is still breastfeeding or drinking formula from the bottle, don’t allow the liquid to sit in her mouth for too long, as it could create bacteria buildup on the gums where the new teeth come in. Wiping the gums with a clean cloth after feedings is a good practice as well.
And one last thought: try to establish healthy eating and drinking habits early on by steering clear of excessively sugary drinks, foods and juices. You’ll find your baby doesn’t crave the sugar so much and it will make him less vulnerable to tooth decay later on.
Posted on behalf of Grateful Dental
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