If you’re a new parent and your first born is going through teething phases or even have a second or third child that has begun teething and your first never did, you may be confused and lost as to how you should help them cope with their teething.
First off, teething occurs when an infant's first baby teeth begin to emerge through the gums. This is also known as tooth eruption. Teething may start as early as 3 months or as late as 12 months. As you know, this is a wide time frame considering how much your infant will grow mentally and physically over this period of time.
What you need to know is that baby teeth are very important in early child development, as they prepare a child’s mouth by finding a healthy place for their permanent teeth to grow down the road. And since baby teeth are in your child’s mouth for 8 to 10 years, it’s quite important that proper care is maintained in order to pave the way for a healthy adult mouth. You may have also heard baby teeth referred to as primary teeth or even deciduous teeth.
Something to remember is that the first baby teeth will begin coming in around 3 to 6 months old. And the last of the 20 baby teeth should be in by 3 years old. For reference, the very first permanent or “adult” tooth should start to come in around 6 years old.
The other reasons that baby teeth are so important include helping your child to eat and chew food more easily, speak more clearly and efficiently, and hold space in their jaws for adult teeth that are growing in under the gums.
Some of the side effects of this period of time of teething, though, may include restlessness, a loss of appetite, irritability, and even an increase in drooling. In order to sooth your child during these times, you can help them cope with teething by gently rubbing their gums with your finger (make sure it’s clean!), or you can opt to use a small cool spoon or moist gauze instead.
The other thing to remember is that baby teeth are just as prone to cavities as any of your own permanent teeth. In fact, more than half of all children will experience cavities in some capacity before they turn 5. Just make sure to teach them proper oral hygiene at a young age. Instilling it while they’re younger will help to ensure that they take care of their teeth when they get older.