All 20 of your child’s primary teeth are present at birth below the gumline, and they start to make an appearance in their mouth around the age of six months. It can be an exciting time when your child’s teeth begin to come in, but it also presents parents with new challenges. Below, we explain what you can expect during the teething stage, and how to protect your child’s teeth as they grow.
As we noted above, teething usually begins around six months of age, but other children may not get their first tooth until they are closer to the age of one. By three years of age, most children have their full set of baby teeth in place.
It’s not very difficult to notice when your child is teething, because it can cause them some general discomfort in their mouth. Infants make this discomfort known by crying, fussing, becoming more irritable and drooling more than usual. You may also notice that your child wants to put more objects in their mouth, like their hands or a teething ring. However, if you notice symptoms like a fever or diarrhea, bring your child into a medical facility.
Teething rings are perfectly safe for your child, so long as you keep some tips in mind. First, make sure they are made of safe materials or have a seal of approval from a licensed medical or safety commission. Stick to rings made of plastic or rubber, and avoid anything that has metal or liquid that could be punctured by a sharp tooth.
Medicated Gels or Tablets For Teething Pain
Some parents want to calm irritated babies and help them find some comfort by looking into medication options during the teething stages. However, the Food and Drug Administration recommends that parents do not use products containing benzocaine on children under the age of two, stating:
“We are also warning that benzocaine oral drug products should only be used in adults and children two years and older if they contain certain warnings on the label. These products carry serious risks and provide little to no benefits for treating oral pain, including sore gums in infants due to teething.”
Parents should also avoid homeopathic teething tablets, as an FDA report found they can oftentimes underreport the amount of toxic substances found on the tablet.
No parent wants to see their child in discomfort, but teething is a natural part of growing up, and it is more discomfort than true pain – your baby just has a difficult time deciphering between the two and expressing their feelings. Work to sooth your child in other ways than medication, and invest in FDA approved teething rings to help give them something to focus their attention on. Keep an eye on how their teeth are coming in, and remember that thumbsucking and pacifier use are still completely normal during this time. If you notice anything strange or just want answers to your questions about your child’s new teeth, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Dr. Brooks’ office today.
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