When a baby’s teeth start surfacing for the first time, this is often called teething. At Children's Dental Specialists of Lake County, we know that teething is an important process when it comes to your child’s oral health, and we recommend that you start bringing your child in for regular checkups once their first tooth comes in. Helping your child maintain health oral hygiene even from this young age is essential for them to have a healthy smile. If you have questions about your child teething in Mentor, Ohio, please feel free to contact us at (440)266-1740 and schedule an appointment. Our pediatric dentists, Dr. Richards and Dr. Miller, are happy to help in any way.
Teething is the process of your baby’s primary teeth erupting from beneath the gums. Some babies start teething around 4 months old, receiving most of their primary teeth between 6 and 12 months. By the age of 3, your child should have all of their primary teeth. Teething is a natural process that every baby experiences, and once that first tooth starts poking through, it is important to monitor your child’s tooth eruption and oral health.
Teething can bring about many side effects in your baby, including discomfort, irritability, and restlessness. Your child may also experience some of the following symptoms:
- Appetite and sleep loss
- Excessive drooling or dribbling
- Chewing on fingers or other objects
- Red, inflamed, or swollen gums
- Rejection or increased demand of breast or bottle feeding
- Nighttime fussiness
Although these symptoms may be concerning at times, typically babies are upset because of the unfamiliar sensation of erupting teeth. To help ease or soothe your child’s discomfort, you can rub their gums with a clean finger the back of a small, cold spoon. You can also distract them with toys or a change of scenery, rub tooth gel along their gums (for children over 4 months), and replenish fluids with water for babies that drool excessively.
When your baby’s teeth start coming in, they are extremely susceptible to decay or damage. It is important to begin brushing your child’s teeth once they surface. It is also important to ensure that your child does not develop “baby bottle or nursing bottle decay.” This is caused when a bottle is left in your child’s mouth for a long period of time, such as when he or she is sleeping, or when your child frequently drinks sugary drinks from their bottle. To check for “baby bottle or nursing bottle decay”, examine your child’s teeth every few weeks, particularly along the inside, or tongue side. Look for dull, white spots or lines along the tooth surface, as these are signs of early decay.
If you have questions or concerns about caring for your child’s teeth during the teething process, please call or visit us today. Our pediatric dentists can monitor your child’s oral health and provide any answers to questions you may have.