One of the first milestones that babies reach within their first year is the eruption of new teeth. The important developmental stage of “teething” usually occurs between the ages of three to fourteen months. Signs and symptoms vary from child to child. During this period, some babies may feel lingering pain and show irritability while others do not.
If you suspect your child may be teething, here are a few signs:
- Excessive drooling
- Swollen gum tissue or noticeable lump on gums
- Refusal to eat food or be bottle fed
- Restlessness or inability to sleep during usual times
- Constant chewing on solid items
While most of these signs (often a combination of two or more) usually indicate your child is teething, they may also indicate another condition. If you suspect the latter, contact your pediatrician immediately.
Another thing to consider during this stage is the possibility your baby’s behaviour may overwhelm you. Since this period is critical, it is important that parents introduce basic oral care early on:
1. Start basic oral care before they start to teethe. Clean your baby’s gums frequently to get rid of food particles or traces of milk. Use a gentle gauze pad or clean, soft washcloth and carefully wipe your baby’s gums and mouth.
2. Buy non-toxic teething rings. If using teething rings, choose non-toxic materials to protect the health of your child.
3. Be gentle with cysts. During oral cleaning you may notice a pale-coloured bump on your child’s gums. This is known as an “eruption cyst” and usually shows prior to teeth appearing from the gums. Eruption cysts may either be asymptomatic or symptomatic. If the baby does not experience pain, it is best to leave the bump alone. If cysts are symptomatic (the baby indicates pain or irritability), consult your dentist immediately.
Signs of teething vary. By the age of three, you child may have a full set of teeth.
Springdale Dental Centre in Brampton, Ontario firmly believes that one can never be too young to start taking good care of teeth. To inquire about children’s dentistry or your child’s teeth development, call (905) 458-1212 and schedule an appointment.