If you think that the toothless smile of your child is adorable, wait till you see the baby teeth of your child.
Your baby’s full set of 20 primary teeth are already present in the jaw at the time of birth, and they begin to show teeth by the time your baby is between 6 months – 1 year.
Moreover, most of the children have a complete set of primary teeth by the age of 3. Every child is different however, usually the first teeth to come in are at the top of the jaw and bottom front teeth of their mouth.
Many babies have sore and tender gums when teeth first come in.
A wet gauze, rubbing the gums with your finger, or a cool spoon can help to soothe the gums of your child.
You can also give them a clean teething ring to chew. Dental visits are also important for the oral health and hygiene of your child’s mouth.
However, if they are still cranky or in pain, you can consult your dentist or physician.
Why Baby Teeth Matter?
The teeth of your baby are very important to your child’s health and development,
Moreover, they help your child to chew, speak and smile. They also hold the pace in the jaw of your child for permanent teeth that are growing under the gums.
If they lose the baby tooth too early, the permanent teeth can drift into space and making it difficult for other permanent teeth to find room when they come in.
This, however, can make your child’s teeth crooked or crowded. This is why starting with good oral care can help to protect their teeth for years to come.
Number of your Child’s Teeth
Your baby has 20 teeth present in their jaw that are present since birth. They start showing their teeth from 6 months to 1 year of age.
Your baby’s initial teeth are Primary Teeth, baby teeth, or deciduous teeth. These are:
- 4-second molars
- 4 first molars
- 4 cupids or canine teeth
- lateral incisors that are 4 in number
- central incisors that are 4
For each of these 4 teeth, two teeth are in the upper arch, one on each side of the mount, and 2 are in the lower arch, one on each side of your baby’s mouth.
Learn more about Colic in Babies here.
When does Teething Start?
While teething can start as early as 3 months of age, you will most likely observe them during 4 months to 1 year of age.
The first teeth to usually appear are the 2 bottom front teeth, also the central incisors. After 4 to 8 weeks, you will notice the other 4 front upper teeth or central and lateral incisors showing.
After almost a month, the lower lateral incisors or the 2 teeth flanking the bottom front teeth will appear.
Next, to break or erupt are first molars that your child will use for grinding food, then you will finally notice the eye teeth to the pointy teeth in the upper jaw.
Most kids usually have all 20 primary teeth by their third birthday. However, if the teeth are not apparent by this time, talk to your dentist or doctor.
In some cases, kids are born with 1 or 2 teeth or the teeth might emerge during the first few weeks of life. Unless the teeth do not interfere with feeding or are loose enough to pose a choking risk, this is not a cause for concern.
Signs of Teething
When kids begin to teeth, they might drool more and would want to chew on things. For some, teething is often painless.
However, others may have brief periods of irritation, while some may seem cranky for weeks. During this time, they might also have sleep disturbances, eating problems, and crying spells.
Teething can be uncomfortable for many children however if they seem fussy, talk to your doctor or pediatric dentist.
Sometimes tender and swollen gums can cause the normal temperature of your baby to be slightly higher, however, it usually does not cause fever or diarrhea.
However, if they do have a fever, other underlying medical conditions could be causing the fever, and you should consult your doctor.
First Visit to the Dentist
After the eruption of your baby’s first tooth, and no later than the first birthday, a visit to your dentist is beneficial for your child.
During the visit, your dentist will make sure that the jaw and teeth are developing in a proper way. Once checking the teeth of your baby, the dentist will clean the teeth of your child and give you tips for routine.
Your child can wiggle or cry during the examination, however, there is nothing to worry about.
7 Facts Parents should Know
There are certain facts that you should know about your baby’s teeth. These will help you understand the teething process and if there is an issue, you can consult your doctor for help.
During this time, your child can be cranky or drooling more, however, it is normal. Moreover, they might have a high temperature, but that does not account for fever.
Thye can have digestive issues like diarrhea during the process of teething.
Let us learn about the facts you should know.
1# Your baby will develop teeth between 6 to 12 months of age
Every child has varying times during which their baby teeth erupt, and some might not have them by their first birthday.
When they are of 3 months of age, they will start exploring things around with things in their mouth and increased saliva. Moreover, they will also start putting their hands in their mouths.
For most parents, it is often confusing whether it means that their child is teething or not. Usually, the first ones to come are the lower front teeth and most of the children have all 20 teeth by the age of 3.
2# Adding Fluoride to your Child’s Diet
Interestingly, tap water has often fluoride in it, so you can give a few sips or straw cups when you begin giving them solid food.
However, it is important to consult your doctor or pediatrician about the fluoride requirements of your child.
Learn more about foods that are not good for teeth.
3# First Appointment
Try to make the first appointment with the dentist when the first tooth of your child shows or by their first birthday.
Both AAP and AAPD recommend that all children should visit a pediatric dentist. They will make sure that the teeth of your child are developing properly and that there are no dental problems.
Moreover, they will advise you on certain tips to make sure you take care of your child’s dental hygiene.
4# Brushing with a Fluoride Toothpaste
You should brush the teeth of your child twice a day with a small amount of fluoride toothpaste which is the size of a rice grain.
It is important not to put them to bed with a bottle of milk, as it can cause tooth decay.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, AAP, and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry AAPD, you should use a pea-size amount of fluoride toothpaste while brushing your child’s teeth.
After your child is able to brush their teeth, teach them the right way to brush their teeth and spit the excess amount of toothpaste.
However, you should monitor and assist your child while brushing till they are around 6 or 7 years of age.
5# Massaging Sore Gums
Teething most often does not cause discomfort in many children, however, many parents can tell when they are showing the signs of teething.
They may show the signs of teething as the gums tend to swell and become tender. They may also drool more than usual during this process.
You can help ease the teething pain by massaging the gums with a clean finger, offering a solid teething ring, not the liquid ones, or a frozen or wet washcloth.
If you are giving them teething biscuits, make sure to watch them as they might choke on the crumbs of the teeth.
Sometimes, the body temperature can also rise however, according to a study in 2016, a fever is not associated with teething and is indeed a sign of illness or infection.
6# Avoid using Teething Tablets or Necklaces
Do not use teething tablets that contain plant poison belladonna and gel with benzocaine,
Both of these can numb the teething pain, however, FDA does not approve of using both because of their potential side effects.
Additionally, do not use amber teething necklaces, as they pose a strangulation risk or can be a potential choking hazard.
7# Using Fluoride Vanish
While visiting your dentist or pediatric dentist, make sure to ask them about tips and habits that can help keep the teeth of the child good.
AAP and the United States Preventive Services Task Force, recommend that children should receive fluoride vanish once they have teeth.
This helps to prevent tooth decay and other dental problems from developing. Therefore, it is important to get it as soon as possible from your doctor or pediatric dentist.
Caring and regular cleaning of your child’s teeth is important as it helps to prevent dental issues from developing. You should begin with daily dental care even before the first teeth appears.
You can do it by washing or wiping your baby’s gums with a clean or damp washcloth, or brunch them with a soft or infant-sized toothbrush. Moreover, as soon as the first tooth appears, clean it with fluoride toothpaste, using a tiny amount.
Even when the first set of teeth falls out, tooth decay can make quick or early falling, thereby, leaving gaps before the appearance of permanent teeth. The remaining teeth may become crowded in an attempt to fill in the gaps, which can cause their permanent teeth to look crowded and out of place.