Teething can be a hard time for you and your baby, but teething is a natural process. Before you start treating your baby for teething symptoms it is essential to know what teething is, its symptoms and how can you help your baby.

When will my baby’s teething process begin?

Teething is described as when your baby’s teeth first emerge from your baby’s gums. When babies begin the teething process there is no set pattern on when exactly it will begin, how painful it will be or even how long will teething be – every baby’s teething pattern is different.

Most babies start the process between ages of four and seven months. If your baby is an early developer he or she will start the teething process at the age of three months.

If your baby is a late developer his or her first teeth won’t be visible until your baby is a year old. Most infants complete the teething process and have a full set of teeth by age three. These teeth sometimes known as milk teeth will usually last until your baby is six-years-old when adult or permanent teeth start to emerge.

How will I know if my baby is teething?

Your baby may experience some or all of the following symptoms. Remember not to classify all of your baby’s problems as teething problems. If your baby seems extremely irritable always check with your pediatrician to rule out other possibilities.

Excessive biting:When teething in your baby begins, due to sore teeth or gums, your baby will bite on anything to help ease the pain and discomfort.

Drooling:Around three to four month you will observe your baby drooling more than usual, this is because teething process stimulates drooling.

Sucking thumb and dummies:A baby that is teething will try to suck on anything it can get its little hands on. It is said that biting on things helps a teething baby to relieve some of the pressure it feels from its gums.

Irritability:As your baby’s teething process begins its gums will become sore and painful resulting in your baby becoming cranky and irritable.

Loss of appetite:Another common occurrence when your baby is teething is loss of appetite. Your baby may prefer to bite on toys and other things that helps relieve its teething pain than food.

What can I do to ease my baby’s teething pain?

Fortunately there are many things you can do help your baby through the sometimes painful teething process.

  • Give your baby a cold wash cloth or something cold from the refrigerator to chew on which will provide some relief to your teething baby.
  • If your baby is finding it difficult to sleep you can give it some infant Panadol. Before giving any Panadol to your baby always check with your doctor. Your doctor will inform you about the right dosage and if it’s alright to give it to your baby.
  • You can also keep trying different things like giving your baby cold popsicles and see what works effectively and reduces your baby’s discomfort when teething.

Baby teeth care

The most common question asked by new parents is, ‘when should I start caring for my baby’s teeth’?

  • You should start caring for your baby’s teeth the moment its teething process has started and baby’s first tooth emerges.
  • You could also give your baby tap water because the fluoride in it is supposed to maintain the health of your baby’s teeth.
  • By the time your baby is a year old, take your baby to the dentist just to make sure your baby’s pearls are in fine condition.

Preventing tooth decay

The moment your baby starts teething, it brings along with it tooth problems like decay and cavities. A large number of toddlers experience tooth decay from juices, milk and other food items that is often given to them at bed time.

How to care for your baby’s first tooth?

Your baby’s gum and tooth can be cleaned with a wet cloth or tiny baby tooth brush. Cleaning with a tooth brush at an early age can get your baby used to the idea of brushing.

Experts recommend using plain water to brush your baby’s teeth until it turns 18 months old. Today there is lot of infant toothpaste available in the market that is fluoride free and safe to use on toddlers even if it is swallowed. You can check with your dentist if you want to use toothpaste to brush your teething baby.

How should I teach my child to brush its teeth?

Most children should start learning to brush their teeth by age of four or five. But until your child turns eight it’s a good idea to make brushing a combined effort to ensure your child is brushing effectively.

  • Always choose a position where you can see your child’s mouth clearly. You could position the child on your lap and tilt its head backwards with its mouth open.
  • Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and move the brush in circles on the front surface of your child’s teeth. Avoid brush your child’s teeth vigorously and side to side as this will damage the tooth enamel and will result in quick wear and tear of your child’s teeth.
  • Dentists recommend changing your child’s tooth brush every three months. If you notice the brush bristles are damaged or dirty, feel free to throw the brush in a bin and replace it with a new one.
  • Were you aware that most pharmacists today carry plaque-disclosing tablets? It contains a food dye that turns plaque pink or red. If you want to know if your child’s tooth is plaque free or to see the areas that are not being brushed properly, use these tablets.

Should I floss my baby’s teeth?

You can start flossing your baby’s teeth when it is around two or three. It is not advisable to floss your baby’s teeth twice everyday, keep the flossing to a minimum of two times a week. Flossing will remove the food stuck between their teeth and ensure healthy gums.

Slide the floss between your baby’s teeth and gently work it up and down, avoid snapping the floss between your baby’s teeth as it will damage the tooth enamel.

If you have problems flossing your baby’s teeth don’t hesitate to ask your dentist to show you how to do it.

Toddler taming

It’s not going to be easy for you to teach your child to brush or brush your baby’s teeth without it creating a fuss. You will have to come up with innovative ways to make brushing a fun experience where your child will look forward to it rather than avoid it and start crying.

  • Use a battery operated brush and you will find your child will be eager to use it.
  • Play your child’s favorite music to make brushing a fun time.
  • Reward good behavior with praise or your child’s favorite toy, so that it will associate brushing with good behavior.
  • Make brushing a fun experience for your child by joining in. You can brush your teeth and show your child the correct way it is done; children often love to imitate adults.
  • If you have any problems you can always ask your dentist, who will have a wealth of experience to share.

Avoid sharing your baby’s spoons as bacteria from your mouth can easily transfer to your baby’s mouth causing decay and cavities. Keep your baby’s utensils separate from other household members.