Being a first-time parent can seem overwhelming. Your child goes through hundreds of changes in a relatively small amount of time. Some of these changes are associated with the natural progression of your baby's oral development and will be accompanied by special instructions from your little one's dentist. Here are a few things you can expect:
Your child will experience teething discomfort as the first teeth erupt.
Beginning with the two central incisors of the lower palate, your child's teeth will start to break through the gums when the little one is around eight to ten months old. As you child goes through the process of teething, you may notice that the youngster drools more than usual. In addition, the baby may seem more irritable than usual.
Some babies even experience intermittent fevers while teething. The discomfort and the higher-than-normal temperatures can be alleviated by over-the-counter pain medication, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. However, it is important to ensure that the medication used is designed for infants. There is usually a weight and age-based dosage chart included with the medication.
To relieve the discomfort of teething, you can also rub the child's gums with a cool washcloth. The cold temperatures help reduce the inflammation associated with the teething process. Nevertheless, it is important to avoid placing ice or frozen items on the child's gums, as they can damage the sensitive tissues.
The irritation from the teething may also be soothed with oral analgesic medication that is designed to be rubbed on the gums.
The discomfort associated with teething will resurface as the time nears for the eruption of additional teeth.
Your child's dentist will likely ask you to trade a bottle for a cup.
Many babies use a bottle as a soothing mechanism. Thus, they receive the nourishment that they need from the bottle and comfort. The children may also suck on a bottle to soothe them to sleep. This habit can be detrimental to the dental health of a child.
Sucking on a bottle to fall asleep can result in baby bottle decay. The milk or juice within the bottle can pool in the mouth as the swallowing reflex relaxes, and the teeth are bathed in decay-causing sugar.
Your child's dentist will likely ask you to wean the child as soon as possible once the first teeth present.
To learn more about what to expect as your child develops teeth, schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist in your area.