Around the time the baby turns five months old, parents start to wait impatiently for their child's first tooth to sprout. Although happiness can be so great with the first tooth, attending to it requires a great deal of attention during the period of teething.
Teething is that phase over which your child will have their milk teeth emerging gradually and in a certain order. It can start as soon as the child is five or six months old. Some babies start teething by their ninth month, and the process goes on until they are three years of age.
Contrary to common belief, chewing food is not the sole purpose of teeth, they are also essential to your child's speech abilities and the shape of their face and jaws. That's why it is essential to care for baby teeth and keep them decay-free.
Teething is accompanied by symptoms like crying and sporadic spasms because of gum pain. Your baby's gum will get red and swollen with the first tooth bud popping out. They might also suffer other symptoms like diarrhea and sleep disruptions. It is worth noting that fever is not a natural symptom of teething as commonly believed, so you need to see a doctor if your baby is feverish at this stage. Some doctors would advise you to massage your child's gum gently by your clean fingers. They also advise you to use "teethers" or a soothing teething gel.
During this phase, it is very important to keep in touch with the nursery teacher to keep her updated on what your baby is going through. Ask them to notify you in case symptoms get more intense. This is something we care about at Little Academy Nursery, and our nutritionist and the supervising nurse offer regular advice to parents to help them overcome this phase safely.
How can I take care of my child's new teeth?
Care starts as soon as the first tooth sprouts. Be sure to give your baby water after they drink milk or eat sweets. Don't allow them to sleep with the milk bottle in their mouth, especially if it is sweetened milk. If you child sucks on their thumb or uses a pacifier, help them ditch it to ensure their teeth will grow well into a good shape. Doctors also advise to clean your baby's mouth daily using a clean gauze and filtered water to avoid the growth of fungi or infections.
At three years of age, you can teach your child to brush their teeth using a toothbrush with a bit of kids' toothpaste on top of it. Allow them to choose the brush he likes and be a positive role model by brushing your teeth after desserts and before bedtime.