There are so many journeys in your baby’s first year of life, and getting their first tooth is certainly one of the biggest. After all, who can resist the adorable, gummy smile of a growing infant? Although your baby’s smile will grow to be unique and adorable, the process can be quite the process for both you and your baby. We asked the same questions that many new parents have when dealing with their baby’s first upcoming teeth: is my baby teething or is it something else? What should I expect when my baby gets their first teeth (or tooth)? When will I be able to sleep through the night again?
Let’s take a look at 3 helpful facts about your baby’s first teeth!
Most Babies Will Develop Their First Teeth at 6mo. – 12 mo. Old
There is a wide range of times when you can expect the first tooth to appear. Some babies may not get their first tooth until after their first birthday! Typically though, when your baby hits 3 months of age, they will start exploring the world using their mouth. This will mean picking things up like toys, car keys, and food to have it in their mouth. They will have increased production of saliva and will even place their hands in their mouth.
Many parents will question if their baby is teething, but their first tooth usually won’t appear for another 3-5 months. The first teeth to appear are usually the bottom two teeth called Central Incisors with the top two popping in shortly after. Lateral Incisors (the teeth directly next to the middle two) will probably come in next at around 9-13 months of age. Parents can rest assured that their baby will more than likely have all their baby teeth grow in by the time they’re age 3.
Give Your Baby Teething Aides to Help with Teething Pain
Parents can help alleviate their baby’s teething pain with simple solutions. Massaging their sore gums with a clean finger, giving them a cold washcloth, or a solid teething toy can help soothe your baby’s teething pain. This pain is felt because the baby’s teeth are breaching the gums to pop out and grow.
Thankfully, teething shouldn’t cause babies too much discomfort, however, it’s easy to tell when a baby is teething. Some signs to look out for include discomfort (audibly or visually) in the area where the tooth is breaching, gums tend to be swollen and tender, and the baby will begin to drool more than usual.
A baby’s body temperature may also rise slightly when teething; however, this could be a sign of an underlying illness as well. To make sure your baby is going through teething properly and safely, talk with your pediatrician regularly about a weight-appropriate dose of acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol) or if the baby is old enough, ibuprofen (e.g., Advil, Motrin). When you consider medication for your baby, be sure to ask your pediatrician for the right dose amount based on your child’s age and weight.
Interestingly enough, many children will show no discomfort at all when their baby teeth come in! Whatever the case may be, make sure you’re making routine visits to your dentist so that teeth come in accordingly.
Introducing Fluoride to Your Baby’s Diet
Fluoride is a natural mineral that helps prevent cavities from forming by strengthening and rebuilding the enamel of teeth. Thankfully, fluoride is often added to tap water to help fight tooth decay. Talk to your dentist about starting your baby on small amounts of tap water (or water with fluoride in it) in a drink cup as you introduce them to solid foods. Always check with your pediatrician to see what fluoride are best for your baby. Sometimes, they can recommend a fluoride supplement if your tap water is not sufficient.
Before 6 months of age, babies still being breastfed or formula-fed do not need fluoride in their diet yet. It is only safe to use fluoridated water to mix in with the formula if your baby if your baby’s pediatrician or dentist approves it as there is a small risk of “fluorosis.” Fluorosis is faint streaking marks on the teeth that happen when young toddlers consume too much fluoride from any source over a period of time. Make an appointment with your baby’s dentist to avoid fluorosis and map out the best possible plan for treating your baby’s first teeth.
Did these 3 Facts About Your Baby’s First Teeth Suprise You?
Baby teeth are crucial to your child’s oral health and development. They will help him or her to chew, begin speaking and smiling. Baby teeth are basically placeholders in the jaws for later adult teeth that are developing under their gums. When a baby tooth is not taken care of, the permanent teeth can shift into empty spaces and cause other adult teeth to push against each other as they come in. Having crowded teeth or teeth that are crooked is a horrible way to start your baby’s life. This is why starting your baby off with good oral health can help start their teeth on the correct growth path for years to come.
To schedule your baby’s first dental visit, contact our professional and pleasant staff here at Mountain View Dental. If you have questions or want to schedule an appointment, give us a call today at 385-324-3557!