WHEN WILL MY BABY SPROUT HER FIRST TOOTH?
Most babies get their first tooth anytime between three to seven months, or later. The first tooth is usually found in the front at the bottom, while baby’s last teeth are found upper and lower back of his mouth. Baby will get her last set of teeth by baby’s second year, so by the time your baby is 2 years old, she should have a full set of 20 baby teeth.
IS TEETHING PAINFUL FOR BABY?
While baby is waiting for the first tooth to sprout, she could be in pain, or drool a lot for a month or two.
If your baby is in pain while teething, she may start biting, but not out of anger. Give something you feel comfortable with your baby biting on, or rub his gums gently with wet cloth.
When your baby is sprouting tooth, it can cause her gum to be inflamed, which can make her cheeks appear swollen and red. But teething shouldn’t cause illnesses like fever or diarrhoea. If your baby seems ill, it’s likely that it’s caused by teething, but more likely by cold, an infection or a tummy bug.
Not all babies go through pain when teething – for some, it can be a painless mouth makeover! Without any noticeable signs, you will see that gummy grin turn into a little set of gleaming teeth.
SOOTHING BABY THROUGH TEETHING
1. Give your baby something cool to bite on, like chilled teether or a whole, peeled carrot that’s been in the fridge. Stay close to your baby as she is chewing, in case of any choking hazard.
2. If your baby is 4 months +, you can rub sugar-free teething gel on her gum. The gel can be purchased from your pharmacy.
3. If your baby is 6 months+, you can give her cold foods for relief, such as apple puree or yogurt chilled in the fridge. We recommend you don’t give her teething biscuits, as they contain sugar which could damage her teeth.
4. If your baby is 3 months+, and is really in distress, you can give her the appropriate dose of sugar-free infant paracetamol or ibuprofen. If you are unsure about the correct dose, always ask your doctor or pharmacist.
5. Teething can make your baby drool a lot. Protect his chin from soreness by rubbing some petroleum jelly onto her chin.
6. If your baby seems to have fever or is inconsolable, you should see the doctor immediately, as she may have an ear infection or other illnesses.
TAKING CARE OF BABY’S TEETH
Start brushing your baby’s teeth as soon as they start to come through.
Also, once your baby has a new set of teeth, avoid putting her to bed with a bottle or nursing him to sleep. This is because formula and breastmilk can pool in your baby’s mouth as she is sleeping and cause tooth decay.
Check with your dentist about giving your baby fluoride supplements. Fluoride can help prevent tooth decay, but you must give the correct amount. Too much fluoride supplements can actually damage your baby’s teeth.
In some cases, your dentist may offer fluoride drops on prescription. You can give your baby these supplements if your baby is 6 months+.
If your baby happens to eat lots of sweets, have her drink some water, or a piece of cheese, afterwards. Cheese helps to neutralize mouth acids, as it is alkaline. Then, brush your baby’s teeth about an hour after she finished eating.
MY BABY IS 10 MONTHS BUT STILL DOESN’T HAVE A TOOTH! SHOULD I BE WORRIED?
Many babies don’t get their first tooth until their first birthday, so you shouldn’t be too worried. If you don’t see a sign of tooth after your baby turns one year old, you should bring it up in your next check-up. If your baby was born early, teething could start a little later.