If you have found yourself clicking on this blog, there is a high chance you are a new parent, and your child has started to show signs of teething. First of all, congratulations, and we hope you and your little one are happy and healthy!
Parenting comes with its challenges, and sometimes there are certain aspects of a child's growth that can fill you up with confusion, stress, and anxiety. One of these aspects happens to be teething, and we will address this topic with this blog. Keep scrolling as we take you through the five stages of teething and provide you with some helpful tips.
What is teething?
Usually, infants get their first tooth around six months of age. This timeline is not carved in stone and can differ according to each individual child. They may get their first tooth sooner or a month later. However, if it is later than that, we recommend you schedule an appointment with us at Urbana Pediatric Dentistry.
Every child has 20 primary teeth or milk teeth inside the jawbone upon birth. Slowly, the teeth erupt into the oral cavity and move up along the bone and gums. The eruption of milk teeth is often accompanied by irritability and discomfort and is termed teething. Teething occurs in various stages of tooth eruption; read ahead as we elaborate on these stages.
The 5 stages of Teething
The fives stages of baby teeth are as follows:
Stage 1: 0-6 months
As mentioned earlier, newborns have a full set of primary teeth that are present below the gums inside the jawbone. These are 20 in number, and below them are the buds of permanent teeth that are 32 in numbers. Primary teeth are often referred to as milk teeth due to their color. Milk teeth are whiter than adult or permanent teeth. The milk teeth develop inside the jawbone during this stage and prepare to erupt into the oral cavity.
Stage 2: 6-8 months
During the second stage, the milk teeth will push through the gums and erupt into the mouth. The first teeth to erupt are the lower incisors which are closely followed by the eruption of upper incisors. There are two incisors, the front and the lateral. These are the front four teeth present on the upper and the lower jaw.
Initially, you may notice a hard swelling on the gums from where the tooth is about to erupt. Once the tooth breaks the gums, it appears as a small white protuberance that feels jagged on the touch. Soon, the teeth will come out completely. During this stage, the baby becomes irritable, may cry more, and there is more drooling than usual. You will notice that they put their hand, toys, or other objects into their mouth. They do this because it provides them comfort and relief.
Stage 3: 10-14 months
Following the eruption of front teeth, the back teeth, called the first primary molar, start erupting. The eruption process is the same as before; however, you may notice that the symptoms associated with teething have exaggerated. Your child may become more irritable than before, have a disturbed sleep pattern, and may even refuse to feed. This stage happens to be a difficult time for babies as well as parents due to a wreaked sleep schedule. At times, teething during this stage can also be associated with mild fever and diarrhea. Although this is a common occurrence, if the pain and related symptoms become severe, please call us at Urbana Pediatric Dentistry and consult your pediatrician.
Stage 4: 16-22 months
After the first molar eruption, primary canines start to come out into the oral cavity. The canines are the pointed front teeth present between the incisors and the molars. Canine also erupt the same way, and the signs and symptoms of teething continue to be seen. At the end of this stage, there will be 16 teeth present in the oral cavity of your baby.
Stage 5: 25-33 months
The primary second molars, the largest back teeth and are the last to erupt into the oral cavity. For some babies, this stage of teething can be one of the most uncomfortable and painful. The symptoms may worsen; babies become fussy and keep crying. The sleeping schedule becomes more erratic, and usual soothing methods do not seem to work. If the situation gets out of hand, you must consult our kids' dentist at Urbana Pediatric Dentist to ensure your baby's health.
How can parents help their teething baby?
No parent would like to see their baby in distress, and although teething is a natural phenomenon, there are certain things you can do to help your little one.
Get your baby a good-quality pacifier. Pacifiers are available in various shapes, sizes, materials, and designs. You can opt for a pacifier made from medical-grade silicone. Nibbling on the pacifier soothes and comforts the baby and alleviates the painful teething symptoms.
Massage your baby’s gums. Applying pressure on the gums relieves discomfort.
You can wet a soft cloth and put in in the freezer for a few minutes. Once it cools, give it to your baby to nibble, the cold compression will help them with pain and irritation.
Wipe away the excess drool and place a bib to ensure your baby stays dry.
Try giving your baby cold and hard consistency foods like watermelon, cucumber, carrots, etc., to chew on.
Over-the-counter pain medications for babies may also help in cases of severe pain and discomfort. However, please remember not to overuse them. If the discomfort and pain are severe, please call us and schedule an appointment with us at Urbana Pediatric Dentistry right away.
At times, lidocaine gels may be used to numb the area and provide temporary relief.
If you have any more questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please reach out to us. Our team of excellent and friendly dental professionals is here to assist you and your baby to better oral and overall health.
If you have any additional questions about your child's oral hygiene, please feel free to contact us at Urbana Pediatric Dentistry. To learn more about Urbana Pediatric Dentistry visit our About Us page. For more tips and information feel free to Contact Us and follow us on social media on Instagram @urbanapediatricdentistry and Facebook @urbanapediatricdentistry.