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Pregnancy and Parenting

Baby (primary) Teeth

What are the signs of teething?
How can I help him when he's teething?
When do teeth come in?
When do teeth fall out?
Should we brush?
What about soothers and thumbs?
Vitamins for healthy teeth?
Can bedtime bottles really harm her teeth?

Q: What are the signs of teething?

A: Good Question!!  This can differ immensely from baby to baby.  Some babies just wake up one morning with teeth, some can go through painful discomfort, as agonizing for the parents as for the baby.
Common symptoms include:
* crankiness
* lack of appetite
* change in sleep patterns, sleeplessness
* drooling, excessive saliva
* pink or red cheeks
* chewing or sucking on fingers and toys
* upset tummy
* coughing
* occasionally a slight fever
If your baby should get a high temperature, seek medical attention.

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Q: How can I help him when he's teething?
A: Nothing can be harder than to see your baby hurting. There are a few things that you can do to help alleviate some of the discomfort.
* Teething accessories can be purchased.  The rubbery ones and the liquid filled ones. Do not put these in the freezer!!! This can freeze your baby or cause frostbite. Make sure they are clean and let baby chew away!
* A cold wet cloth for baby to suck on can help soothe the gums, and it keeps baby busy too!
Pain and teething medications should be used only the advice from your doctor or pediatrician.

Q: When do teeth come in?
A: Please refer to the chart. (CLICK HERE for an image)  These dates are just a guideline.  Teeth can come in much earlier or later. Teething time can be a family characteristic, or genetic.

Central Incisors 7-12 months 6-10 months
Lateral Incisors 9-13 months 7-16 months
Canines 16-22 months 16-23 months
First Molars 13-19 months 12-18 months

Second Molars

25-33 months 20-31 months

Q: When do teeth fall out?
A: Please refer to the chart. (CLICK HERE for an image)  These dates are just a guideline.  Teeth can fall out earlier or later.

Central Incisors 6-8 years 6-8 years
Lateral Incisors 7-8 years 7-8 years
Canines 10-12 years 9-12 years
First Molars 9-11 years 9-11 years

Second Molars

10-12 years 10-12 years

Q: Should we brush?
A: Dental hygiene is just as important for these little teeth as it is for the permanent teeth.  These little teeth need to be healthy for 6-12 years until the permanent teeth are in.
"Brushing" can start before the teeth are even in to get your baby accustomed to having something poking around in his mouth. Try a small piece of clean gauze wrapped around your finger and wipe the teeth and/or gums clean after feedings.  When using a tooth brush, use the same method adults are taught... brush up, the way the tooth grows, to avoid catching food in the gums.

Q: What about soothers and thumbs?
A: This seems to be mostly a matter of opinion. Prolonged use of either of these, could possibly alter the teeth growth.  Some say one is better than the other, but the parent and the child are the only only ones who can decide what is best for that child.

Q: Vitamins for healthy teeth?
A: Calcium is of course very important in the development and maintenance of teeth.  Vitamin D helps the teeth use the calcium efficiently.  Vitamin A is needed for normal enamel formation.  A well balanced, healthy diet is the best bet yet!

Q: Can bedtime bottles really harm her teeth?
A: If your baby receives a bedtime bottle, or falls asleep while nursing, now may be a good time to break that habit.  Lactose can play a big part in tooth decay.  The saliva that normally helps to wash the mouth, decreases during sleep, leaving the sugars to do their dirty work on those little teeth.

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