What You Need to Know about Teething and Infant Oral Care

Dental care in babies can begin even before they are born because their primary teeth start forming in the first trimester of pregnancy. Certain health problems experienced by the mother or medications taken by her can have an impact on the baby’s dental health.

Parents must make it a priority to start dental care for their babies at an early age. Let’s take a look at some important facts about teething and oral care in infants.

When does teething occur and what are its symptoms?

For an infant, the first tooth normally appears when they are between six and eight months. By the time they turn three years of age, at least 20 teeth should appear.

Despite this, early or delayed appearance of teeth may occur as well. This is not necessarily related to other problems and is usually hereditary. However, make sure you consult a pediatric dentist if there is no appearance of teeth by the time your baby turns one year old.

Look out for the following symptoms that your child might experience when their first tooth starts erupting:

• Swelling and reddening of gums
• Loss of appetite
• Sleeping difficulties
• Increase in saliva formation
• Anxiety
• Change in nutritional habits

These symptoms are generally mild but if you observe more severe problems such as fever, diarrhea, or vomiting, take your child to the pediatrician immediately. These problems could be due to reasons other than teething.

How to help

Although the symptoms of teething aren’t too severe, they may be difficult to handle for a small child. As a parent, you could take several actions to relieve them of this discomfort. Use clean, wet gauze to clean their gums and mouth at least two or three times in a day. In addition to this, you could also give them a cold clean cloth on which they can bite.

It is important for parents to take their children for their first dentist visit as soon as the first tooth appears. This is necessary so you can get some advice and instructions on how to start a comprehensive dental care program.