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When Babies Bite – What to Do When Your Baby Begins to Teethe
There are 20 baby teeth, ten on the top and ten on the bottom. Teeth usually erupt in pairs from the front of the mouth to the back, the lower pair arriving a few months before the corresponding upper pair.
Babies start teething when they are as young as two months and others as old as a year, although the age at which babies start teething and the rate at which it occurs varies greatly. When in doubt, you can always refer to a dental chart. It indicates the order in which teeth usually appear.
How do you know your baby is starting to teethe?
1. Irritability and drooling. These are symptoms that are often related to the process of teething. The pain and discomfort caused by the arrival of the first teeth often leads to the child becoming irritable and restless. Similarly, teething stimulates drooling and if you notice that your child is drooling more often than normal, then he may be in the process of teething. If your child drools a lot, then it can lead to the formation of chin rashes and thus, it is essential for you to keep wiping the saliva from the baby’s mouth to prevent further problems.
2. Desire to chew. If your baby has suddenly developed a desire to chew anything solid, then this implies that he may be in the process of teething. This is because back pressure from biting and chewing helps relieve the pressure from under the gums. It is also normal for your child to have red and swollen gums along with difficulty sleeping due to the irritation and pain that the teething process brings with it.
3. Fever. The most important question that bothers every parent is whether the tooth causes a fever. While most experts do not make any connection between fever and tooth, it is found that a child can suffer from a low-grade fever during the day the tooth erupts. However, high fever or diarrhea should not be taken as symptoms of a toothache. Teething might be a painful process for your child, but it ushers in a new stage in life. Thus, parents must recognize the symptoms of their child and must take care to make the child feel comfortable in this new and also painful stage.
So, what do you do when your baby starts teething?
1. Maintain good dental hygiene. To maintain your baby’s well-being and health, it is extremely important that you take good care of your baby’s gums and keep the teeth and gums clean. Early recognition of cancerous lesions and monitoring of sugar intake to prevent excessive intake should also be considered.
2. Understand that baby teeth play an important role in the future state of your baby’s permanent teeth such as spacing, health and alignment. If the baby teeth are damaged or lost at an early stage, your baby runs a greater risk of having bad and misaligned permanent teeth. This case often leads to an open bite and jaw pains afterwards. Also, the permanent ones that come in after the baby teeth are subject to decay if the baby teeth are already decayed.
3. Visit a professional dentist regularly. You should consult a dentist for cleanings and checkups to help prevent dental problems and help maintain optimal dental health. Any person concerned about their well-being and dental health should not wait for a toothache to have to visit a dentist.
4. Teach your baby the importance of oral hygiene by just cleaning his mouth and teeth. By properly cleaning his/her mouth, you are teaching your child the importance of proper dental care. Having this knowledge would be a great advantage later on. Early education about dental health care would prevent you from wasting money on dental treatment and emergency dental care.
CAUTION: If your baby bites while breastfeeding, you could discourage this by immediately removing the breast. This will teach your baby that biting interrupts feeding.
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