At King Street Dental, we understand that teething can be a difficult time for both parent and baby as it is uncomfortable and slightly painful. This is, however, a completely natural and critical part of a baby’s development, and there are several ways to make your baby comfortable during this unavoidable process.
What is Teething and Tooth Eruption?
Teething occurs when an infant’s teeth, also known as primary teeth, start breaking through the gum tissue. This usually begins around six months of age, although it can take up to a year for some children. The symptoms of tooth eruption continue until all 20 primary teeth come through the gum line, so do not worry if this process continues for longer than you expected!
The duration of tooth eruption is hereditary and often occurs sooner in females. The two bottom front teeth usually come through first, followed by the four upper front teeth. Lower lateral incisors come next, followed by the first molars. Four canine teeth erupt next and the remaining molars come last to make a beautiful set of 20 primary teeth.
By age 14, all primary teeth are replaced by 28 permanent teeth. Wisdom teeth won’t come through until your child’s late teens.
Symptoms of Teething
Teething symptoms differ from one baby to another. Some of the most common symptoms are listed below.
Many parents report the production of excessive saliva while their babies are teething. Drooling is a normal part of development.
Any signs of chapping, chafing, rash and redness around the chin and mouth indicate that a baby’s teeth have begun to erupt.
Some infants experience relief from biting down on soft objects like teethers.
Crying and Irritability
Fussy or irritable behaviour is common during tooth eruption, which is an uncomfortable and sometimes painful process. Rest assured that it will pass!
It is not uncommon for an eruption hematoma to form on a child’s gums over a tooth as it erupts. A hematoma looks like a red or purple blister and can cause bleeding. This is not a cause for concern, and often resolves itself as the tooth erupts completely.
Easing the Pain During Teething
There are a few simple ways to make this process easier for your baby. The paediatric dentists at King Street Dental recommend the following:
Chewing creates a counter-pressure that provides pain relief. Rubber teething rings are very effective. Keep them in the fridge beforehand, as the cool temperature helps reduce inflammation.
Massaging of Gums
Provide instant relief by gently rubbing a clean finger or soft cloth on the baby’s gums to assuage swelling.
Consult your paediatrician for pharmaceutical solutions for pain if your baby experiences prolonged discomfort.
What to Avoid During Teething
Amber teething necklaces must be avoided as they can present a safety hazard and have not been clinically proven to work.
Dental numbing gels are not recommended, as they may contain ingredients which are harmful to young children and only provide short term relief.
Root Canal and Wisdom Teeth Removal in Melbourne
King Street Dental is a state-of-the-art paediatric dentistry and emergency dental clinic in Melbourne. Whether you need dentistry for children, painless root canal procedures, or have a dental emergency, our team of dentists is always at your service. Contact us today for more information or book an appointment now!