Babies start teething around the age of 6 months and continue through the age of 3. A baby will have periods of tooth eruption preceded by teething. Symptoms can include more drooling than normal, mild sniffles, crankiness, and sore gums in the affected area. Sucking on a clean teething ring, a cool, wet washcloth, or a chilled spoon can really help with the discomfort. Some babies like it if you gently rub their gums with your clean finger. Over the counter infant pain relievers or topical pain relief gels can also help. We recommend checking with the baby’s prior to using any medication.
Although it may seem silly, every single baby tooth needs brushed, even if it’s just one tooth. Use a soft infant toothbrush and water. Hold off using a fluoride toothpaste until the baby is able to spit out the toothpaste on his own. Brush the teeth surrounding gum tissue twice a day.
As a general rule, children should be fully weaned from the bottle by about 14 months of ages. You can begin the transition to a sippy cup at about 6 months of age. Remember the same rules about bedtime and extended usage apply to sippy cups as well. Baby bottle tooth decay happens when you put your baby to bed with a bottle or let your baby suck on a bottle for extended periods of time. This can cause the sugars in milk, formula, or juice to pool around the gums and form plaque, which can harm baby teeth before they even emerge. To prevent tooth decay, limit your baby’s use of a bottle to feeding times only.
A lot of babies suck their thumbs. Sucking their thumbs, fingers, or pacifier is one of the first ways babies learn to soothe themselves. It’s perfectly normal and most will stop gradually and naturally around the age of 2. If the habit continues it can cause crowded, crooked teeth or bite problems.
Taking care of your child’s oral health is something that begins before you ever see the first tooth. Performing simple daily care and following a few basic rules, you can help ensure that your child’s teeth will emerge strong and healthy and stay that way for a lifetime.
Until next time,
Keep smiling, sharing, and caring!