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Parent to Parent: All You Need to Know About Your Child’s Teeth



By: Humairah Shah,

Whether you’re a parent in the US or anywhere else in the world, raising your first child is invariably a steep learning curve. With so much on our plates, it’s easy for parents to overlook caring for baby’s teeth, but a few useful tips will keep us on track.

Aww…the First Tooth

A baby’s first tooth erupts between four to eight months of age and typically by the time he or she is two-and-a-half to three-years old, every baby tooth should have erupted. Some children have a difficult time during teething, while others sprout teeth effortlessly. When babies are teething, they tend to be droolers and often refuse to eat because their gums hurt. Excessive drooling can irritate skin around the mouth causing rashes. Babies can become restless and fussy; the pain even keeps some from sleeping well. Tiny hands in the mouth and a willingness to bite on everything are sure signs of the baby being uncomfortable. You may even find them rubbing their cheeks to deal with the discomfort associated with teeth erupting at the back of their mouth.

What Should Parents Do?

Massage baby’s gums with your finger or damp gauze. Keep the area clean and use teething rings. Chilled teethers are the way to go. Do not freeze the teether. Cold carrots are good substitutes if your baby can chew on solid food. To prevent skin rashes caused by excessive drooling, dab dry their chin regularly.

Tooth Care Starts Early

Start cleaning baby teeth and gums as soon as they erupt. Use damp gauze to clean them when they are just peeking and graduate to a soft tooth brush once they have erupted. Brush twice a day and floss once. Stick flossers are ideal for babies. Use safe-to-swallow, no-fluoride training toothpaste until your child learns to spit it out and then move on to the fluoridated toothpaste.

Save Your Child from a Nightmare: Nursing Bottle Syndrome

Nursing Bottle Syndrome (NBS), also known as Baby Bottle Syndrome, affects children less than five years of age. NBS is caused when baby teeth have prolonged contact with liquids containing sugar such as milk, formula or juice, resulting in extensive decay.

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