The first thing you need to know about baby teeth is that they’re cute. Typically, the front lower teeth (incisors) are the first to come through, and that first “peg” or two to push through makes a baby look oh so cute. Yes, the teething stage can create devil babies who will stop at nothing to put something in their mouth to bite down on – but it’s a stage no parent can avoid.
Baby teeth are a delicate and essential part of development, so there are a few things worth noting about them. Keep reading to find out.
Baby teeth might not grow as expected
You would expect baby teeth to come through without a hitch, but that’s not always the case. Baby teeth have their issues just like adult teeth. The Brockville dental clinic posted a blog about the health dangers of crooked teeth and reported that baby teeth may come in crooked or will go that way as they grow. There’s also the risk of overcrowding – although that’s typically more common in adults.
Don’t panic if your baby’s teeth don’t grow as you would expect. Once they’re old enough, regular checkups at your family dentist will allow you and your dental team to keep an eye out for any problems.
Fluoride is important
It’s important from the age of 6 months and over – 6 months being the age when most babies have a few teeth and have begun eating solid foods. Fluoride is a wonderful mineral that helps to build strong enamel and can prevent tooth decay. Parents should be very cautious about letting babies drink anything other than water, milk, and specific healthy baby food.
Similarly, parents should start brushing their baby’s teeth twice a day, even if it is just the one tooth, the moment it sprouts. Using fluoride toothpaste is a must – and just a rice grain-sized amount of toothpaste is enough. At the age of three, the American Dental Association recommends moving to a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
Ways to soothe teething pain
As adults, we won’t remember the teething stage. What we have that might come close is wisdom tooth pain, if you’ve ever experienced it. Teething can cause upset stomachs, colds, temperatures, and a very upset baby.
One tip is to rub the gums with a clean, wet finger. The sensation can relieve some pain and soothe a teething baby.
Similarly, putting a teething ring in the freezer to make it extra chilly and giving it to a baby can provide some relief. Thinking holistically – some parents swear by amber ring bracelets or necklaces, which work by releasing an oil containing succinic acid which some claim relieves teething pain.
Any parent going through the teething stage will know anything is worth a shot! A fussy baby can be tough to soothe.
Most baby teeth will develop between 6 to 12 months, although some can start earlier or later. By the age of two, babies should have a full set of teeth. There’s plenty of information you can find online about baby teeth, and your local family dentist should be more than happy to help you with any worries.