Teeth Issues and Teething Problems
Seeing your baby’s first tooth appear through his gums is an extremely exciting. Before you know it he’ll be able to give you a big toothy grin. Some babies are born with a tooth in place, but usually it only decides to appear at around six to nine months. For some babies teething doesn’t cause too much discomfort, for others it can cause fretfulness.
How the teeth grow
The lower incisor usually appear first, then it’s the upper incisors, followed by the first molars and then the canines. All twenty of your baby’s teeth should appear by the time he’s two and a half years old.
Symptoms of teething
Your baby’s teeth usually arrive around the time that he’s keen to explore with his mouth and is constantly sucking his fingers. This results in a lot of dribbling, sucking and gnawing, which can occasionally be connected with teeth starting to erupt. It’s also around the time your baby is moving onto solid foods and teething will benefit from an interest in biting and chewing.
Easing teething pain
Just before the tooth emerges, your baby may have a reddened area of gum, although a first tooth can appear without notice. Some babies become irritable and fretful. There are many ways of soothing their discomfort:
Let him gnaw on a carrot that has been in the fridge or a Rusk, never leave your baby alone with food as they can choke.
Giving him safe thins to chew on such as a teething ring or a cool tethers (one that goes in the fridge, never freeze the tethers as it will burn their gums).
Use teething gels that can be rubbed onto the gum, this will help anaesthetise them. This is especially helpful if you breastfeed, because when they start to suck, the pain increases and they tend to clamp down, which is extremely uncomfortable for mom, instead it lets him feed untroubled.
When to start brushing
From the beginning make it part of your routine to massage and wipe the gums with a clean damp cloth wrapped over your finger after a feed. Once the first tooth appears use a smear of fluoridated toothpaste, but not enough to foam until your child can spit up.
How to prevent tooth-brushing tantrums
Allow him to watch himself in the mirror while he is brushing.
Let him choose his own toothbrush.
Turn brushing his teeth into a game: as you guide his toothbrush into his mouth pretend that it is a train going into a tunnel, or you can let him brush your teeth while he brushes yours.
Taken from ‘Expectant Mother’s Guide