September 9, 2019

Early Teething and Tooth Care

Following the eruption of the first set of primary teeth, your child will begin to experience gum soreness. Therefore it’s essential to understand the causes of gum soreness and how to help your child deal with teething.  

What is teething? 

Once the drooling, crankiness, and tears begin, then it’s time to give your toddler extra love and patience. Simultaneously, you need to develop strategies to ease your toddler’s discomfort. One idea is to allow your child to chew on a chilled teething ring as often as needed. Other options include teething toys or a wet face cloth. All teething toys need to be check frequently and make sure to throw away any cracked or worn teething rings. You may consider using teething cookies or biscuits; however, this approach can lead to tooth decay. Let’s avoid any methods that lead to tooth decay. 

Prepare for the first set of teeth eruption

Begin healthy habits early, and as a result, your experience will be more manageable. Even though timing differs widely, expect your baby to begin teething by about age six months. At this time, you will most likely see the two bottom front teeth (lower central incisors) appear. Next, the two top front teeth (upper central incisors) will appear. Fraser Health has created a helpful timeline and a list of expectations as well. 

Signs and symptoms of teething may include:

  • Excessive drooling
  • Constantly chewing on objects
  • Unusual Irritability or crankiness
  • Tender and sore gums
  • Low-grade rectal fever of 99 F (37.2 C)

Ways To Soothe Sore Gums

Once you have identified that your baby’s teeth are erupting and simultaneously experiencing the uncomfortableness of teething, then you can consider these simple tips:

Apply pressure to your baby’s gums.  An easy to apply method, where you use a clean finger or moistened gauze pad to massage your baby’s gums. Pressing and rubbing against the gums can reduce your baby’s pain.

Refrigerated is better than frozen.  Cold objects like a cold washcloth, refrigerated spoon or chilled teething ring help soothe baby’s gums. Consequently, avoid frozen objects for teething.

Time for cold veggies. If your baby is already eating solid foods, you can introduce crisp vegetables for chewing. For example, peel and cut a chilled cucumber or carrot into a manageable size. Most importantly, make sure the veggies are not too small. You want to avoid any choking. Keep a close eye on your baby. 

Keep the chin dry.  One consequence of excessive drooling is skin irritation of the chin. Saliva production is stimulated by having teething rings, fingers, and cold veggies in the mouth. Keep a clean cloth handy and consider applying a moisturizer. Select a water-based cream or lotion.

“Dr. Ella is a great pediatric dentist. Her staff is very friendly and caring. I had to bring my nervous 6 year old for her first filling. Dr. Ella took the time to explain every step and even showed her how fillings are done on her finger nail. My little girl did so well! We will only see Dr. Ella from now on.” Courtney B.