There are five different types of teeth a baby will develop during the first 3 years. There is an order in which the teeth erupt; however, this may vary slightly with each baby, and it is nothing to worry about.
The order in which a baby gets their teeth is as follows:
- Central incisors (front teeth). Generally, babies get the bottom central incisions first.
- Lateral incisors (between the central incisors and canines)
- First molars
- Canines (besides the front molars)
- Second molars
How do you know a baby is teething?
Teething can result in a fussy baby. Signs and symptoms of teething include:
- Fussiness or crying
- Trouble sleeping
- Loss of appetite
- Drooling more than usual
- Redness of the gums
- Pain and soreness in the gums
How to soothe a teething baby?
The following can help reduce discomfort when the baby is teething:
- Gently rubbing their gums with a clean finger, small cool spoon, or moist gauze pad can be soothing because the baby can have significant tenderness of the gums.
- You can give a clean, non-toxic baby teether to the baby for them to chew on. Baby teethers should be made of solid rubber that is meant to be used for babies who are teething. Teethers that are liquid-filled or have plastic objects that could break or cause an injury should be avoided.
- Alternatively, a frozen carrot stick will also work as a teether.
- You may give painkillers to a baby, if required, after consulting with a doctor.
- Numbing gels and creams may be used in children over the age of 2 years after consulting with a doctor. It is not advised to use over-the-counter oral numbing products in children.
How do you care for a baby’s teeth?
The following measures can help ensure the baby has healthy teeth:
- Fluoride may be added to the child's diet at 6 months of age: Fluoride is a mineral that hardens the teeth enamel, prevents tooth decay, and is essential for teeth health. Fluoride is often added to tap water in many countries. Fluoride supplements may be given after consulting with a doctor.
- Managing discomfort due to teeth eruption: The child may have pain and discomfort of the gums during teeth eruption. Massaging sore gums, offering something cold, or giving acetaminophen occasionally can help soothe your baby's teething pain. Not all babies experience discomfort. Signs of discomfort include swelling and tenderness around the area of eruption and drooling.
- Teeth brushing with fluoride toothpaste: Once the child has a tooth, the parents can start brushing them twice a day with a pinch of fluoride toothpaste using a soft toothbrush made for babies.
It is advised to follow-up with a pediatrician periodically to ensure oral health and overall health. It is also recommended that the child is examined by a dentist, preferably a pediatric dentist, before the age of 1 year for teeth cleaning and to ensure good oral health.
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