Teething is a major milestone. It’s such a bittersweet moment - your baby just broke through a milestone, and you’re proud, but at the same time, you know he or she will likely be in pain from it. So, what can you do? How can you prepare to make the experience as pain-free and smooth as possible?
When Can I Expect My Baby to Develop Teeth?
There is a wide range for a baby to start developing teeth. For example, some experts say between 6 and 12 months, while others say between 3 and 14 months. It’s more common for a baby to cut teeth around six months, but parents should be aware it can happen earlier, too.
Excessive Drooling Isn’t What You Think
Contrary to popular belief, excessive drooling isn’t normal. Many parents believe that cutting teeth leads to a ton of drool. Diane Bahr, a speech-language pathologist suggests otherwise - she claims that while mild drooling is part of the process, a lot of drooling is not normal. She warns that you should not put off excessive drooling and should get your baby checked out by a pediatrician because it could be a sign of something more serious.
Why Does My Baby Chew Everything?
When your baby mouths and bites everything, it’s for a good reason. It means your baby is having appropriate mouthing experiences, which will allow his or her teeth to emerge on time. If you notice your little one is gnawing on everything in sight, it would be a good time to introduce some teething toys.
Beware of Pointy Teeth
Baby teeth are sharper than you may think. If you walk down the baby aisle in the store, you will see teething toys that have liquid or gel but this isn’t always safe. As your baby’s tooth erupts, it can pierce the plastic and then your child can potentially ingest the harmful chemicals.
Pain Relief From Breastmilk
If you are breastfeeding, a pain relieving property in your breastmilk called analgesic can help your baby when he or she is in pain. Analgesic increases when your baby is teething, so you may notice your baby will want to breastfeed more because this property in your breastmilk is soothing to him or her.
Avoid Teething Tablets and Gel With Benzocaine
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, you should avoid using homeopathic teething tablets and gels as they come with some serious risks. A 2010 safety alert revealed that certain teething tablets contain belladonna, a plant that is toxic in large amounts. Additionally, seizures in infants and children occurred after being given these products. Benzocaine is an ingredient in teething gels and is dangerous as it can pose a rare - but serious - and sometimes fatal condition called methemoglobinemia, which is a disorder where a decreased amount of oxygen is carried through the blood. It’s always best to opt for a safer alternative for a teether.
Schedule Your Baby’s First Dental Appointment
As soon as you notice your baby’s first tooth erupting, you should schedule a dentist appointment. It’s ideal to get established at a dental office by age one. The pediatric dentist will ensure all teeth are developing normally and check for any dental issues. You will be given advice on proper hygiene so you can take care of your baby’s teeth the correct way to put him or her on the right track to healthy teeth.