Try as we might, there are some unpleasant experiences we cannot shield our little ones from. Although an exciting milestone, unexpected teething can be just that—an unpleasant experience accompanied by sleepless nights and fussy little ones. Nevertheless, recognizing the signs of potential teething and knowing how to navigate the stages of teething can be a tremendous help to children and their parents during this trying time!
What to Expect in the Beginning
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists (AAPD), baby teeth can emerge as early as 6-8 months and as late as 12-14 months of age. Prior to teething, you may notice your little one become fussy for no explainable reason but a closer look might reveal tender and swollen gums. Due to the changes your child is experiencing, it's not uncommon to notice a slight increase in body temperature during this phase of teething, however, teething alone doesn't usually cause a high fever. If your child develops a fever it is best to consult their pediatrician to rule out other issues. While some little ones may become fussy, plenty of children experience little to no pain as teething begins.In the absence of pain, parent's may be alerted to emerging teeth through their child's attempts to chew on hard objects.
What Parents Can Do
Once teething has been identified in children, parents may choose to introduce their little one to a teething ring to relieve discomfort experienced as teeth emerge, though this option may not be ideal for all children. In the event that a teething ring appears to exacerbate your child's discomfort, consider gently rubbing their gums with a clean, cool, wet washcloth. If neither of these options works to relieve your child's discomfort, don't hesitate to speak with a pediatric dental specialist about other at-home pain-relief remedies.
What to Know about Little Teeth
Once your little one's first tooth has emerged, it's time to begin brushing each morning and night. The AAPD recommends flossing begin once children have teeth which touch one another (typically around age 2) as food particles may become trapped in small crevices. As explained in a secondary post, it is advised that a child’s first dental exam be scheduled within six months of their first tooth, however, our specialists recommend scheduling your little one's first exam before their first birthday (even if a tooth has yet to emerge). A child’s first dental visit gives them time to meet their dentist in a low-stress environment—boosting their confidence (and yours)!
At Spring & Sprout, we know that every child travels a unique path to a full smile. While some may push through emerging teeth with no issues others may experience more difficulties along the way. Regardless of your family's situation, our specialists are here to support you by providing the care your child needs and a partner you can count on!