It’s always exciting when a baby grows their first teeth and oral care is vitally important for babies and toddlers. Even before a baby develops his or her first tooth, you can begin caring for their teeth by simply using a wet wash cloth or gauze around a child’s gums and mouth. As your baby’s teeth start growing (between 6-12 months) you can begin to use a baby soft toothbrush along with toothpaste that doesn’t have fluoride which is safe for babies to swallow. Typically the bottom two middle teeth grow in first followed by the top two middle teeth and then the teeth along the sides and back. Don’t worry if they grow in crooked, they will straighten over time. Baby teeth should be brushed twice a day which will lay a solid foundation for healthy adult teeth when the child is older.
When your baby begins teething, he or she may become irritable or restless and may cause drooling and/or loss of appetite. Don’t worry, this is part of the normal teething process however if your child experiences a fever, vomiting or diarrhea you should consult your pediatrician immediately. Naturally you want to make your child feel better so here are some things you can do to make your teething baby feel better:
- Give your child a chilled teething ring to chew on
- Give your child chilled solid foods such as yogurt or apple sauce if they are old enough to eat solids
- Rub your finger over your child’s gums to relieve pain
- Use Copaiba essential oil to reduce swelling
- Give your child a pain reliever such as infant acetaminophen (not children’s aspirin) but ask your pediatrician about dosage for a child younger than 2 years old
Consult with your pediatrician before applying teething gels on your child’s gums. Some topical medications that contain benzocaine can have side effects such as methemoglobinemia, a serious condition in which the amount of oxygen in the blood drops dangerously low.
It is also important to remember to schedule your baby’s first dental appointment when their teeth begin to grow in. We can’t wait to meet your little ones.