Your child’s teeth begin forming before birth. The time and frequency of when teeth come through the gum line vary depending on the child. Here is a general timeline of when you can expect your child’s teeth to erupt, and fall out.
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Teething symptoms vary from child to child, and the timeline for tooth eruption varies a bit from child to child. While it is difficult to know exactly when a first tooth may come in and how much teething pain your child will endure, there are ways to be prepared.
Questions parents often encounter when first wondering about teething include, “when does teething begin?”, “what are common teething symptoms?”, “how can my child get teething pain relief?” and “which teething remedies are best?”
Not every child is the same when it comes to baby teeth eruption or baby teething, but the timeline for the first tooth is similar for most children. At six months, lower central incisors are the first baby teeth coming in. Near eight months, the upper central incisors make their debut. Children at or near ten months will start to feel their lower, and upper lateral incisors break through. Children at 12 months begin to get their first molars, with canine teeth erupting around 18 months. Finally, second molars come in around 24 months.
This general timeline is helpful with understanding what to expect during the process of baby teeth coming in.
Tooth eruption is a painful time for baby and parent, often exacerbated by the fact that it is hard to tell that teething symptoms are the underlying cause of discomfort. To help you quickly get to teething remedies that work, it is necessary to understand what teething symptoms can present when tooth eruption begins.
Baby teething begins well before the new tooth is visible, meaning a child will have pain and discomfort underneath his or her gums while the tooth is preparing to make its exit. Common signs of baby teething include redness of the gums, swollen gum tissue and small blood blisters directly above the erupting tooth.
In addition to experiencing pain, a child may present the following teething symptoms at any point on the timeline listed above:
The majority of these symptoms are a clear sign that your child has started teething, even if you cannot see any new pearly whites yet. One should note that a fever, prolonged fussiness, rashes all over the body or runny nose/cough are all not direct symptoms of baby teething.
Once you feel comfortable with answering the question, when should my baby start teething, and you understand the symptoms that go hand in hand with teething, you can ease the process by knowing what can – and can’t – be done to provide your child with teething pain relief. To soothe teething pain, try these methods to see what works best for you and your child:
Chewing – the gumming action necessary for chewing helps with counter-pressure, which provides relief for aching gums and other teething pain. Teething rings, rattles, other child-safe toys and washcloths can all be used for chewing.
Cold food and drinks – both chilled beverages and foods can provide teething pain relief for your child. It is important to remember that too-cold items, or those that are frozen, may cause as much if not more discomfort to sore gums. To keep this from happening, refrain from putting food and drink in the freezer, and simply cool with the refrigerator.
Pain relief – When chewing and cool foods/drinks are not providing any relief, teething pain may be done through medication. Before providing your child pain relief in this form, however, it is necessary to check with your pediatrician or pediatric dentist first.
Comfort – above all else, provide your child with additional comfort while they go through the teething process. An extra hug or kiss may not help the gum soreness, but it will make for a less stressful time for you and your child.
While applying teething remedies at home, it is important to remember a few important points. First, avoid numbing agents when possible. Items like rubbing alcohol or herbal teething meds can put your child at an unnecessary risk. Also, steer clear of teething necklaces, as they present a hazard for choking and often are not as effective as other teething remedies.
When your child is going through the teething process, remember that patience is key. Each child will present various symptoms and will respond to different pain relief methods, but rest assured that one of the solutions listed will work for you and your child.
As parents, it is difficult to refute the power of the pacifier. When your child is in a state of disarray and in some cases, discomfort, the pacifier is a soothing tool to help get through the emotional or physical pain. As many benefits are known about pacifier use, there are as many risks, most related to long-term dental and speech issues.
Before discussing how to wean your child off their pacifier, it is important to point out the specific advantages a pacifier has as well as its risks.
One of the most well-known benefits to pacifier use is its ability to prevent SIDS in small infants. When used during naptime or bedtime, pacifiers can reduce the potential for sudden infant death syndrome by up to 50%.
Additionally, pacifier use can be used to fulfill a baby or toddler’s need to suck without giving an additional bottle or breastfeeding long after their tummies are full.
Finally, self-soothing is a powerful benefit to pacifier use, as it has been proven to relax and calm a child when they are uncomfortable. Unfortunately, the soothing aspect of a pacifier is also what makes pacifier weaning a challenge.
Risks are inherent to pacifier use, particularly after the age of two, and can include long-term dental damage. According to the American Dental Association, prolonged pacifier use can lead to an anterior open bite, which presents as a gap between upper and lower teeth in the front of a child’s mouth.
Also, extended pacifier use may cause crossbite, which is when the upper back teeth are tucked inside the lower. Both conditions can be expensive to correct once your child gets older, making pacifier weaning a necessary and important task.
The questions of when to take away pacifier or when to wean pacifier use is common among parents of young children. In most cases, pediatricians and dentists suggest that if a child has not started weaning off pacifier on his or her own, it should be initiated by the parent between 8 and 12 months.
Weaning off pacifier use takes patience, and knowing when to stop pacifier use can be different for each household. However, it is necessary by the age of two as to avoid the dental issues listed above.
Each parent will have a different method of weaning off pacifier use based on their child’s ability to find other ways to soothe. If you’re in the process of determining when to stop pacifier use, these common methods may be of benefit.
Ask the experts for more information at Dentistry for Children.