Child Health



Most babies begin to teethe between 6 and 12 months old, but some start much later. It can be different for every baby. Some children do not have any teeth at the age of one year, and the first tooth often appears at the age of 6 months. The front teeth (the lower incisors) begin to appear first, then others follow. Most children have a full set of baby teeth by the time they're 3 years old.

Deciduous (primary) teeth:
  • Primary teeth begin to appear first, then, one after another, they get replaced with permanent teeth. This change starts at the age of 6.
  • At the age of 3, a child often has a set of 20 primary teeth.
  • Milk teeth have thinner enamel and appear whiter (more translucent) than permanent teeth.
  • Primary teeth are more susceptible to decay and damage.
  • When permanent teeth begin to appear, they have wavy edges. Their shape gradually straightens over time. 

Order of appearance of deciduous teeth:
The lower teeth usually appear before the upper teeth in the following pattern: the central incisors appear first, followed by the lateral incisors, then the first molars, canines, and finally, the second molars.

When to see a dentist for examination and evaluation?
A child should be taken to the dentist if he reaches the age of 18 months (one and a half years) and still has no teeth.

Teething symptoms:
  • Irritability and crying
  • Trouble sleeping 
  • Loss of appetite
  • More drooling than usual
  • Slight fever (if a baby’s temperature is 38°C or above, take them to the doctor)
  • If your baby suffers has a fever, diarrhea, or vomiting during teething, take them to a doctor to find out if there is a medical condition that requires treatment.

How to soothe a teething baby?
Teething causes discomfort to a baby. They may have sore or tender gums when teeth begin to erupt. This pain might start at the early age of 4 months. Below are tips to help you soothe a teething baby: 
  • Gently rub their gums with a clean finger after you wash your hands.
  • Give your baby a teether to chew on to reduce the pain. Look for teethers made of solid rubber.  
  • Avoid medications that are applied topically to the gums (such as anesthetic gels). They can have dangerous side effects.

How to prevent tooth decay?
  • Until teeth start to come in, clean your baby’s gums with a clean wet washcloth.
  • Once they have teeth, clean your baby’s mouth using a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste the size of a rice grain.
  • Make sure your baby isn’t lying in bed while being fed. This not only exposes their teeth to sugars; but can also cause ear infections and choking.
  • Do not leave a nursing bottle or cup for your baby to drink from for long periods of time.
  • Teach your child to drink from a regular cup as soon as possible, preferably between the age of 12 to 15 months.
  • Cut back on sticky foods that may contain sugars.
  • It is not recommended to give juice to babies under the age of 6 months. If you give juice to a baby at the age of 6 to 12 months, make sure you dilute it with water (half water and half juice).
  • Take your baby to a dentist to get their teeth checked before their first birthday. 

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Last Update : 27 September 2020 04:15 AM
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