Baby Biters: What New Parents Should Know About Their Infant’s First Teeth

New parents are wise to learn everything they can about infant dental development. By spending meaningful time teaching your growing child how to brush their teeth and eat foods that are healthy, you may save yourself from facing big dental bills in the future.

The very first teeth

No two children will sprout their baby teeth at the same time, so parents shouldn't be overly concerned if their baby's teeth poke through earlier or later than the teeth of another family's baby. Some newborns arrive with erupting teeth, while others don't begin teething until they're nearly a year old.

The first teeth to erupt are usually the lower central incisors, or bottom two front teeth; followed by the upper front teeth, also called the central incisors. They normally appear at around 6-10 months of age.

Teething signs

Your baby may drool a lot more just prior to a tooth erupting, and they may get an upset tummy from swallowing the excess saliva. They may also be irritable due to the pain of the tooth pushing through tender gums.

It may be painful for your baby to suck on their bottle when they're teething, and they may refuse a spoon, so it may be difficult to get your baby to accept any nourishment. Frozen pureed-fruit pops may work, and some babies will chew on a clean, wet washcloth and suck out a bit of water as they relieve their teething pain.

The best teething ring

A teething ring is a specially made toy, often of rubber or plastic, with raised nubs and a thin cross section so babies can bite down and help put pressure on their throbbing gums. Some teething rings are filled with non-toxic liquid that provides a gentle cushion when the baby bites down.

The best teething ring is the one your baby likes the most. Some babies prefer a more squishy teething toy, while other babies want to bite on the hardest plastic ring you can find. All babies appreciate it when you keep a few teething rings in the freezer for the soothing coolness against their aching mouths.

Start dental hygiene early

You can brush the first teeth, as you want to establish good tooth care habits early, and the best way to accomplish this is to make it a routine part of getting ready for the day and getting ready for bedtime.

Use a warm wet washcloth, or one of the specialty baby dental cloths made for this purpose, to gently wipe around and massage the tooth. Make cleaning sessions brief at first, and have a smile on your face rather than a look of concern or anger. Let your baby watch you brush your teeth first, or use a different washcloth on your teeth the same way you'll use it on baby, and soon, your little one will want to imitate what you do.

The early establishment of good dental habits is a great way to ensure that your child's future smiles are all bright and healthy. For more information, talk to a company like Village Family Dental.