Recently a few moms have been asking me dental advice questions on tooth development in their little ones. When does that point tooth come in? What is it called? When do the molars come in? What should I expect?
Since you generally only visit your child’s pediatric dentist once or twice a year when there are no conditions to treat, (the first visit should start when the teeth first come in-yes, as babies!), I thought this post would be helpful. As your little one grows and develops, soooo much changes, especially with those pearly whites coming in.
What to expect with teething:
Awhile back, I wrote a post on my top homeopathic teething remedies, so those will work great when your little on is uncomfortable from the process of eruption, (teeth coming in-see chart below). Here are some symptoms you may find he/she experiences:
1. Drooling: teething stimulates saliva production from the salivary glands so you may notice you are running through burp cloths and bibs more from about 4 weeks to 4 months of age. For a few out there, it may even last until the toddler ages, but be sure you always follow-up with your pediatric dentist if anything looks abnormal or you have a question.
2. Gagging/Cough: Some babies make a lot more saliva than others and it can be so much to swallow. Don’t be alarmed if it makes them cough a little, (as long as they don’t have a cold), or gag when they swallow too much. A tip is to keep them seated upright if they are gagging.
3. Biting: ON EVERYTHING. I know my little one did, (ouch, even once in a while during breastfeeding). The pressure from the teeth erupting and piercing the gums is anything but comforting. This is when the Sophie the Giraffe and cold teething rings come in super handy.
4. Pain: I’ve noticed the teeth that cause the most pain coming in seem to be the very first ones (since it’s so new), the molars, (they are their biggest), and the canines, (surrounded by more bone). You can see which ones those are in the teething chart below!
5. Irritability: With the change in the bodies and discomfort, they may be irritable and not themselves. Just give them extra love as they go through this:)
6. Refusal to eat: Your little one may not want to feed or eat during their peak teething hours. It just makes their gums feel worse. If they refuse food for more than a day/many times, then contact your pediatrician.
7. Diarrhea: This is the most controversial. Some dentists will say teething won’t cause diarrhea, others will say it will, since they swallow so much saliva. I saw with my little one first hand that it does happen! Keep some diaper rash cream handy just in case.
8. Low grade fever: Because of inflammation, the body sometimes reacts and cause a slight fever during teething. If anything persists for longer than 2 days or is higher than 102 degrees F, then it is probably not due to teething and an illness so contact your doctor.
9. Waking up at night: Some babies end up waking up in the middle of the night due to discomfort, so soothe them, but if you are nursing try to avoid night-time feeds- it may possibly become a habit again when she/he is no longer teething! While some moms I know do nurse at night while teething, (I used to when Laila was sick in those early months), do what works for you and go with your gut. Eventually, I found other ways to console her if she was sick or uncomfortable at night like singing to her.
10. Gum hematoma: Because of the pressure and increased vascularity during eruption, you may notice “bleeding under the gums” that will look like a bluish lump. It goes away quickly and you can use a cold compress in the area to relieve it. But remember, if it looks suspicious, see your pediatric dentist. Truly, you should never feel ashamed to visit a Dentist New York City if you have any concerns regarding your baby’s dental health.
11. Pulling ears and rubbing cheeks in discomfort: Since the trigeminal nerve travels and shares pathways with the gums, cheeks and ears, your baby may have discomfort in those places as well. Some docs even say that since the sinuses are along this nerve track as well, your little one may have a slight runny nose. But remember, a runny nose may also be a cold, so be sure to visit your doctor if it worsens or does not go away within a day or two.
12. Chin or face rash: This correlates to the drooling so be sure to pat the drool away and also use something like Aquaphor for the dry skin if this develops. If your child comes out in a rash from their teeth development then you may want to have a look into the various teething rash treatments.
And here is an awesome chart that the American Dental Association developed that can guide you along your child’s tooth development! Remember to just use this as a guide and that every child is different and may not follow a pattern “by the books”, as it is with all growth.
If you have any specific questions, I’d be happy to answer them in the comments below!