How to Brush Baby's Teeth - When and How to Get Started
Your baby will soon get his pearly whites that will make his smile so much more precious. It is your job to ensure that you protect his teeth right from the beginning in order to avoid any serious dental issues in the future. Establishing a regular dental hygiene routine from an early age will ingrain the habit in your child and keep him and his teeth healthy. This will prevent tooth decay and also prevent any trouble with nutrition and speech development. Here’s all you need to know how and when you should start brushing your baby’s teeth.
When to Start Brushing Your Baby’s Teeth?
It is best to start brushing or cleaning your baby’s teeth the moment his first tooth erupts out of his gums. This may be anything between three to nine months. The age when a baby’s first tooth appears can vary largely with some babies not teething until they are one.
What Will You Need to Brush Your Infant’s Teeth?
You will need a toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste to brush your baby’s teeth. If your baby is too young you can use a clean damp cloth, your finger or a gauze pad to clean your baby’s teeth. Remember to use them gently to avoid any discomfort to your little one. If you are using a baby toothbrush, ensure that it has soft bristles, a small head and a wide handle. Use only a rice grain size quantity of toothpaste for babies.
How to Brush Your Baby’s Teeth?
The key to making your baby comfortable about your brushing his teeth is to be gentle. Here is the best way to brush baby teeth.
Sit in a place where there is plenty of light. Keep your baby’s head on your lap.
Put a tiny amount of toothpaste on your baby’s toothbrush or a gauze pad. Remember, toothpaste as little as a grain of rice is plenty for the baby.
Gently approach your baby’s mouth and slowly brush each tooth. You will need to brush the front and back of each tooth in gentle circular motions and small strokes that move back and forth. You will need to do this twice every day.
Clean his tongue with the toothbrush too. This will prevent bacterial accumulation and avoid bad breath.
Rinse the toothbrush with water and let it dry. You will not need to rinse your baby’s mouth as the amount of toothpaste used is very little.
What to Do If Your Baby Doesn’t Like Brushing Teeth?
Babies have sensitive gums and they may even hurt if they are teething. Hence, it is likely that your baby will resist the whole teeth brushing procedure. If your baby isn’t very keen on getting his teeth cleaned you can try the following tips.
Be gentle: Your baby’s gums are sensitive. If he particularly doesn’t like the toothbrush, you can always try soft washcloths or gauze pads.
Distract them: Babies need to focus on one thing. So distracting them with a little song or story can help them get through their teeth brushing time.
Brush along with your baby: You can make a game out of brushing. Show your baby how you brush your teeth and then ask him to try it and let you do it.
Satiate his curiosity: Babies love to play with new things. Give your baby enough time to enjoy the setting and the toothbrush. It is possible that he will try to put it in his mouth by himself.
How Many Times in A Day Should You Brush Your Baby’s Teeth?
You can brush your baby’s teeth twice every day to establish a routine. This can be once in the morning and once before he goes to bed.
Can You Brush An Infant’s Gums?
While cleaning your infant’s gums after feeds can help prevent the growth of bacteria, it is best if you do not use a toothbrush for it. Instead, you could use a soft and clean damp cloth. You also get silicone or rubber finger brushes which are even softer on your baby’s sensitive gums. You don’t need toothpaste to clean the gums. You can start cleaning your baby’s gums even before his teeth have emerged.
What If Your Baby’s Teeth Start to Bleed While Brushing?
If you notice bleeding as you brush your baby’s teeth, it might indicate an infection. Check for any others signs like tenderness in the gums and inflammation. It is possible that the condition subsides with regular brushing and dental care. However, if it doesn’t, take your baby to a dentist immediately to seek medical advice.
Is It Necessary to Brush Baby’s Teeth after Every Feed?
No. You will not need to brush your baby’s teeth each time you feed him. Brushing twice a day, after breakfast and before bed is sufficient. However, you may wipe your baby’s gums after feeds to prevent the formation of bacteria.
Can You Brush Infant’s Teeth with Coconut Oil?
It is best to use standard fluoridated toothpaste or any toothpaste recommended by your baby’s dentist to brush your baby’s teeth. According to medical experts, there is no valid evidence that proves that coconut oil is good for the teeth.
Babies can also be prone to cavities and dental caries. Knowing how to clean a baby’s teeth properly can help you prevent any serious dental complications in the future. It is best that you continue assisting your child as he brushes his teeth at least until he is six or seven years old to ensure that he is doing it the right way. This is because if the milk teeth face cavities and decay or the gum is affected by an infection, it could affect the permanent teeth later on. Brushing your baby’s teeth right from the beginning can prevent these problems.
Also Read: Baby Teeth Order of Appearance
Yellow and Other Discoloration of Teeth in Children
A child’s innocent and beautiful smile renders one of the greatest joys to the parents. However, sometimes your kiddo’s pearly whites may become yellow or other kinds of discolouration may happen, and this may affect your child’s beautiful smile. There is no need to worry as you can adopt various measures to improve your child’s teeth colour. If your kid’s teeth discolouration is giving to sleepless nights, you should stop worrying as in the following article we shall talk about causes, treatment and various preventive that you can take to improve your kid’s yellow or other discolouration of teeth.
What is Tooth Discoloration?
Before we move ahead with the article, we should understand what exactly tooth discolouration is. Well, tooth discolouration may happen when the natural pearly white or ivory white colour of your kid’s teeth changes. Tooth discolouration can be of two types- external discolouration and internal discolouration. Where external discolouration may be temporary and may occur due to certain medication, food items etc., on the other hand, internal discolouration may happen mostly due to underlying medical conditions such as metabolic disorder, enamel hypoplasia etc.
What Causes Tooth Discoloration in Children?
If you are wondering why are my child's teeth yellow, then the following causes may help you understand it better.
1. Tooth Decay or Carries
Your child may have dental decay or cavity due to the activity of the bacteria on the leftover food particles in your kid’s mouth. This may cause discolouration.
2. Improper Oral Hygiene
If your kid does not follow proper oral hygiene and does not brush his teeth properly, it may lead to the formation of plague and thus change in the colour of the teeth may happen.
Excessive fluoride in your kid’s formula milk or toothpaste may lead to too much fluoride in your child’s mouth. Excess amounts of fluoride may result in a condition that may result in white streaks or patches on your kid’s teeth.
4. Certain Illnesses
Some kinds of illnesses or ailments such as hepatitis, recurrent high fever etc. may lead to tooth discolouration in kids.
Sometimes babies who may get affected with severe jaundice after birth may have yellow or green tinted teeth as they grow up and start teething.
Sometimes injury to the teeth may lead to tooth discolouration too. This may happen because the blood vessels may break and the blood may affect the tooth enamel.
7. Use of Certain Medications
The use of certain medications during pregnancy such as tetracycline, which is used to treat UTI, may lead to discolouration of the baby’s teeth.
8. Enamel Hypoplasia
This is a genetic condition in which either the enamel coating is missing from the teeth, or it is very thin. This may lead to discolouration.
The above-mentioned are some of the common causes of tooth discolouration in kids.
Signs of Teeth Discoloration
Though teeth discolouration may be very evident by looking at your kid’s teeth, however, following signs may help you in establishing if your kid is suffering from any kind of teeth discolouration
Your child’s teeth may appear brown. This could be due to consuming some dark beverage or by some kind of injury.
Your kid’s teeth may have white stains. This may indicate early signs of tooth decay.
Your child’s teeth may appear red, purple or blue This may occur due to trauma or by consuming some dark coloured food.
Your kid’s teeth may appear orange. This may indicate accumulation of bacteria on your kid’s teeth due to improper oral hygiene.
Your child's teeth may have black stains. This may occur because of tooth trauma.
Ways to Treat Discoloration of Teeth
If you are thinking about how to whiten your kid’s teeth, following treatment options may prove to be beneficial
You may use some baking soda and water to brush your kid’s teeth in order to get rid of tooth discolouration.
If your kid is taking iron supplements, it may sometimes lead to tooth staining. Therefore, be very deliberate with brushing your kid’s teeth if he is taking iron supplements so that any stains do not set in.
You may use an adult toothbrush and paste to brush your kid’s teeth as they may offer better cleaning properties than the children’s toothbrush and toothpaste.
Certain bleaching techniques, which should be used strictly by the dentist, may be effective in whitening your kid’s teeth.
If discolouration may be due to trauma, it may be difficult to treat, but you should get in touch with the dentist to know the possibility of the permanent teeth getting affected due to the injury.
Your dentist may use a pumice mixture to get rid of stains and bacteria that may be causing tooth discolouration.
Tips to Prevent Tooth Discoloration
There are many treatment options available to treat tooth discolouration. However, it is better than you adopt preventive measures beforehand to keep any tooth discolouration at bay
You should use toothpaste which has low fluoride content in it as more amounts of fluoride may lead to tooth discolouration in children.
You should start cleaning your kid’s teeth as soon as they appear which means when he is a baby. You may start cleaning your baby’s teeth with a soft cotton cloth and then slowly you should start using a baby brush.
Do not feed foods which have high sugar content. Foods with more amounts of sugar may lead to dental caries and decay, which in turn may cause discolouration.
Brushing is a good habit that should be inculcated from an early age. However, parents may worry that their kid may swallow the toothpaste. Therefore, it is important that you teach your kid how to spit out the toothpaste.
Do not encourage your kid to sleep with a milk bottle at night. Presence of milk and sugar may make the apt environment for the bacteria to harbour in your kid’s mouth.
Following are some frequently asked questions reading tooth discolouration in toddlers and kids that most parents may like to know
1. Are teeth whitening and bleaching products safe for children?
There are many over the counter teeth whitening and bleaching products available in the market. However, you should not use such products for your kid. This is because if your kid still has temporary teeth, then there is no need to worry as they soon will get replaced by permanent. On the other hand, if your kid already has permanent teeth, then it is not possible to change the teeth colour. Because once the enamel gets damaged, it is difficult to get it fixed. Moreover, OTC products mostly contain peroxide, which may do more harm than good to your child.
When to See the Doctor
As soon as you register any sign of tooth discolouration in your kid, it is suggested that you see your doctor. This is because, before you take any measure to treat tooth discolouration, it is important to establish the cause for the same and that only your doctor may be able to establish.
It is important to follow good oral hygiene for your child and in any yellow, or any other kind of discolouration is observed, seek professional help.
Oral Hygiene Tips for Kids
Teeth Grinding (Bruxism) in Kids
Braces for Children's Teeth
Baby Teething Myths and Misconceptions that Parents Should Know
Science has moved ahead in leaps and bounds with improvements in baby care and a better understanding of how the growth and development of a child take place. However, there still remain various superstitions that trickle down from traditional thinking and continue to make parents and other relatives worry for the betterment of the child. One of the popular ones in this regard is the fever and teething myth along with numerous others that put an abnormal focus on the way a child’s teething seems to proceed. Knowing the distinction between myth and reality can help you handle the situation in a better manner.
Myths and Superstitions About Baby's Teeth
Teething is quite an important milestone in the development lifecycle of a child. We have put together a bunch of myths and the actual facts behind them, which can help you be better informed with what’s going on with your little one.
You shouldn’t use a toothpaste with fluoride for your little one since it can be quite dangerous for him and harm his new teeth.
Yes, your baby might swallow everything that enters his mouth and this might make you worry about him eating up the toothpaste as well. This can be very well handled by using only a small amount of toothpaste while cleaning his teeth. Using toothpaste with fluoride is essential in protecting his new teeth from the formation of any cavities.
If teething starts with the baby's top teeth first, bad luck will befall his maternal uncle, which can even be a threat to his life.
This can be countered in a bunch of ways. Some of them involve the mother walking all the way to her home to meet her brother on the way. Other families choose to use a copper coin to touch the baby’s tooth.
As ludicrous as it might sound, this is quite a popular myth, especially in the northern areas of the country. Even more ridiculous are the ways that this myth or curse can be countered. It is necessary to understand that an event as small as teeth erupting from the jaw cannot affect a random individual in any way whatsoever.
It is not good to start brushing the teeth of a toddler. He should get a few years older before he starts brushing his teeth. They don’t need any additional care as such.
Your child’s gums might be a little sensitive and tender but his teeth need all the care they can get right from the time they emerge out of the gums. Using your fingers with a little toothpaste and massaging his gums as well as cleaning his teeth is essential the moment they appear.
The pain during the process of teething is not a good sign and it can be reduced by a sacrifice to the Gods by killing a rooster once the first tooth emerges.
A few regions believe in slapping the child’s face immediately once you spot the first tooth. Others revolve around kissing a donkey to transfer the pain to the animal, or hanging a raw egg above his crib.
The ways to counter the myth of pain starts getting strange one after the other. Not only are they illogical but some of them can even cause harm to the baby and put him or other family members at risk of being injured and cause grievous harm. Using teething biscuits, toys and soothing your child is a much better option.
We need to visit the dentist only when we have a problem with the teeth. Children usually don’t need a dentist until they are more than 3 years old. Their first check-up can be delayed to the point they have all the teeth or the permanent teeth start emerging.
Contrary to popular opinion, the role of the dentist is highly recommended the moment you start seeing teeth in your little one’s mouth. The emergence of the first tooth can give a good sign of the baby’s future dental health and give your dentist a good heads-up in case there might be a possibility of any dental problems emerging later on.
A tooth emerges in a child only after he is around 8 months old or so. If a baby is born with a tooth or two in his mouth, it is a sacrilegious sign and the mark of the devil himself. He is the vampire or a monster and the teeth needs to be pulled out immediately to stop him from becoming a bad person.
This is just as ridiculous as any of the above myths... probably even more! Although there is no conclusive evidence that can explain the presence of tooth in the baby while it is in the womb, speculations have been made around hormonal reasons, exposure to certain growth stimulating substances, and so on. Nevertheless, if a tooth is present and seems to be quite loosely hanging, your doctor might choose to remove it to prevent any complications later on.
If a child gets teeth rather early, he will have siblings he can play around with, in the next year or so.
Some babies do have teeth that erupt when they are 6 months old itself. But that has nothing to do with a woman getting pregnant. Everyone is well aware of the only process by which a woman can be pregnant and an eruption of a tooth has no connection to it.
If a baby starts having cavities in his teeth, they don’t need to be filled right away since the teeth are going to fall off anyway.
Even if the teeth might fall later in life, the cavities themselves can lead to infections and can be extremely painful for the child later on. Filling them is a necessity and the more it is delayed, the more difficult it can get for the dentist to handle it.
Teething is always accompanied with fever, which can get troublesome for the child and needs to be medicated right away.
Sure, there are a few symptoms such as disturbed sleep, irritation, and a slight increase in body temperature when teething occurs. But the temperature difference is minimal and cannot be categorised as a fever. If your child does have a fever, it is probably an indication of another infection or disease which needs to be attended by the doctor.
Using meat bones of chicken or other animals along with some healing beads for the baby to chew on can reduce the teething pain and protect the teeth as well.
Although pressing the gums together can reduce the teething pain, using meat products or other herbal beads should be highly avoided, since the chemicals and other elements present in them can be fatal for the child. Make use of homemade teething biscuits instead.
The imagination and variety of Indian myths about baby teething can be quite an entertaining read. However, these shouldn’t be taken seriously and applied in real life as a problem to be resolved. Teething is a natural process and every child responds to it uniquely in his own way. It can, however, be a bit of a challenge at times, as with the eruption of each tooth comes pain and other symptoms. Stay informed about the various stages of teething, so that you’re armed with the tips and tricks to deal with each one of them as they come. A Baby Teething Tool will come in handy to help you out on this mission! Simply click on different parts of the image given to understand which tooth comes in at what age. You can also record the days on which your baby’s teeth come in one by one, or scroll through the tool to find more articles on baby teething.
Also Read: Signs & Symptoms of Baby Teething
Effective Baby Teething Remedies
The medical term for teething is called ‘Odotiasis'. The teething process generally starts between the 6th to 24th months in babies. During this time, the teeth start to erupt from the gums. The first two teeth which erupt are located in the top and bottom of the centre. The rest of the teething process follows an outward pattern ending with the molars.
Teething Patterns -
Lower central incisors
Upper central incisors
Upper lateral incisors
Lower lateral incisors
The lower and upper central and lateral incisors emerge in sets of 2 each and the molars, canines and second molars appear in sets of 4.
Why Does Teething Hurt a Baby?
The process of teething is painful and causes discomfort to the baby. This is because the tooth starts to move beneath the surface of the gum tissue which causes the area to become red, swollen and sensitive. Some teeth, like the molars, hurt more as they are more sensitive than others owing to a larger surface area
Signs and Symptoms of Teething in Babies
There are no particular signs or set of symptoms for teething. These symptoms could last for a few days or spread over few months if a lot of teeth start to erupt at the same time. This causes the gums to start hurting as they are still sensitive. Teething may cause the following symptoms -
1. Profuse Drooling
Teething stimulates drooling, which means that the baby's clothes are going to be constantly wet and soggy.
Constant drooling can cause the baby to gag and cough. However, this is not a cause for concern if there are no other signs of cold and flu.
3. Teething Rash
The constant dripping may cause chapping, redness and rashes around the baby's mouth and chin.
Teething causes pressure from the emerging teeth which poke through the gums and cause discomfort to the baby.
The pain and discomfort are different for each baby. While some may breeze through comfortably, others suffer a lot due to the inflammation of the gum area.
Babies become irritable and fussy during the teething process because the teeth will keep poking into the gum surface.
7. Refusal to Feed
A cranky, uncomfortable baby may be soothed by feeding, as they will have something in their mouth.
8. Waking in the Night
The teething discomfort may cause the baby’s sleep to be disrupted
9. Pulling the Ear and Rubbing the Cheek
Babies who are teething may tend to tug at their ear or rub their chin or cheek.
The severity of discomfort caused by teething varies from baby to baby and you can consult a doctor if you feel that it requires professional assistance.
Ways to Ease Teething Pain in Babies
Once you are sure that the teething process has started, you can use some medicine for teething babies to ease out the pain and discomfort like –
1. Natural Remedies
There are some natural remedies which can be used to provide relief to the baby. You can also try providing homeopathic medicine for teething in infants.
2. Lower Inflammation
The teething process causes inflammation which stimulates the nerves in the gum, hence reducing the inflammation will help to reduce the baby's pain.
3. Paleo-Type Foods
Providing paleo-type foods is very beneficial. This includes foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, pasteurised meat and healthy fats like coconut butter.
4. Rest and Healthy Food
You should ensure that the baby gets rest and healthy food in addition to formula and breast milk.
5. High Protein Foods
Lowering stress levels by lowering the blood pressure. This can be done by feeding the baby with whole foods which are high in protein.
6. Cold Substances
Cold and pressure are two of the oldest tricks to combat teething pain and excellent remedies. Cold substances like a little ice or a cloth helps numb the area and pressure soothe the inflamed gums.
Homeopathic medicines for teething in infants is a safe way to relieve the baby from the redness, swelling, and pain and keep the baby calm.
8. Professional Assistance
There are medicines that can be administered by doctors if the teething problems are too severe. Depending on the stage of teething, specific medicines are given
9. Over-the-Counter Drugs
If home remedies are not helping much then you may give the baby some over-the-counter medicines. You should have your baby evaluated by the paediatrician before giving any medication if teething is severe.
If you can distract your baby with some activities, they will forget about the pain for a while
Home Remedies for Teething Pain in Babies
How to soothe a teething baby? There are a variety of ways to soothe pain caused by teething and there are home remedies too that can be utilised if you do not want to go the medicine way.
1. Frozen Cloth
You may let the baby chew on a piece of cloth after placing it in a freezer.
Make the baby chew on frozen fruit or vegetables on a cold spoon to help with the teething pain.
3. Natural Solid Wooden Toys
The wood’s roughness will be soothing for the baby.
4. Clean Finger
You can rub a clean finger over the sore gums, this will temporarily numb the pain. This is a common remedy that generally works more often than not
There are teething biscuits available that make it easier. They are unsweetened and are great for kids who love to gnaw
6. Cold Feeding Bottle
If you freeze a feeding bottle upside down, the ice that forms near the nipple causes it to become a little hard. Your kid can keep chewing on it if they start getting fussy.
Bananas are great for teething babies as they are soft and do not get lodged in the child’s throat.
Carrots are another vegetable that can be given to babies as they are hard enough to chew on and will help your kid when they are teething. Always ensure you’re around because carrots could end up being swallowed and get stuck in the throat of the baby.
Cold applesauce is also comforting and a great way to pacify a teething child
10. Vanilla Extract
Rubbing a little vanilla extract on your baby’s gums can also be helpful. The taste of vanilla will also be enjoyed by the baby
Ginger works as a fantastic solution to curb teething pain as the baby can bite the hard exterior and soothe itself
How Long does Teething Last?
The process of teething varies for each baby. While in some babies, the first tooth may come through at 6 months, or as late as the first birthday of the baby. The entire process could take about 2 years.
Teething timelines (approximate) -
Central incisors: at the age of 6-12 months
Lateral incisors: at the age of 9-16 months
Canine teeth: at the age of 16-23 months
First molars: at the age of 13-19 months
Second molars: at the age of 22-24 months
Teething lasts about a week per tooth, it starts a few days before the first tooth erupts and lasts till a few days after the last tooth has erupted.
Teething is a difficult phase for both the baby and her caregivers, but it is also in important developmental stage. Being empathetic to the needs of the baby and accepting the phase as a transitory and necessary one goes a long way in soothing any anxiety you may be feeling.
Late Teething in Babies - Causes and Complications
A baby’s first tooth usually appears when he is around six months old. But every baby is different, so some may begin teething quite late. However, if your child has reached fifteen months of age and shows no signs of teething, then it can be a cause for concern.
What Is Delayed Teething?
When the first few teeth, also known as baby teeth, milk teeth, or deciduous teeth, appear, your baby is said to be teething. This usually starts to take place when your baby is around six months old. It is not uncommon for a baby's first tooth to appear only after his first birthday. But some children are late bloomers; such kids may have their first tooth erupt only after 15 months of age, which is known as delayed teething.
Reasons for Late Teething in Babies
Some children are just late bloomers which is why teething can be delayed in their cases. Apart from that, here are a few other reasons for late teething in babies:
1. Hereditary Factors
If delayed teething runs in the family, then it should come as no surprise that your child follows suit as well. Both your side of the family as well as your spouse’s can be responsible for a delay in the appearance of your child’s first tooth. Ask your parents or relatives if you or they faced the same issue, and if yes, then this could be one of the reasons why your child hasn’t begun to teethe yet.
2. Poor Nutrition
If your baby is not getting enough breast milk, or if the formula he consumes is not nutritious enough to meet all his needs, then it will lead to delayed teething. Breast milk contains calcium, and your baby needs this for the growth and development of his teeth and bones. Baby formula usually contains nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, and Vitamins A, C, and D, that help with the growth and repair of bones and tissues, immunity, and overall development of your child. Calcium is especially important for strong and healthy teeth. But if the baby formula you use does not have all of these nutrients or if your baby is not consuming enough of it, then it could lead to delayed teeth eruption.
3. Hypothyroidism and Hypopituitarism
Hypothyroidism is a condition wherein the thyroid glands don’t produce adequate amounts of thyroid hormones for the body to function normally. Hypothyroidism usually affects heart rate, metabolism, and body temperature. If your baby has an underactive thyroid, then it is most likely that he will face a delay in hitting several milestones like walking, teething, and even talking.
Hypopituitarism refers to the decreased secretion of one or more of the eight hormones which are produced by the pituitary gland. It can also lead to several diseases and conditions associated with hormone deficiencies, such as obesity, high cholesterol and so on.
4. Other Reasons
Delayed teething can also be a part of certain medical conditions or disorders, such as Down's Syndrome. It can also be due to a physical obstruction in the gums or the jaw bone, which doesn't allow the tooth to erupt.
Complications of Delayed Teething
A major complication of delayed teething is that the child’s permanent teeth might develop in a crooked way if his teeth develop late as a baby.
Baby teeth are also required for your baby to be able to chew his food properly. The inability to chew solid foods is another complication of delayed teething.
Sometimes, the permanent set of teeth appears along with the delayed baby teeth, leading to the baby having two rows of teeth.
When to Consult a Doctor
Firstly, check with your parents and relatives to make sure that delayed teething does not run in the family. If it doesn’t, and if your baby is more than 15 months old, then you should consult a doctor. Check for other signs like weight gain (when your baby isn’t eating), delayed overall development, abnormal metabolism, and lethargy. A lot of people consider late teething a sign of intelligence, but this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. Sometimes, children with a high IQ are early bloomers, while at other times, they’re late bloomers.
Your baby’s teeth coming in late can cause you to worry. Observe your child, and look out for any abnormal signs like hoarse crying, constipation, or an abnormal heart rate. Go through your family history and keep a note of relatives who started teething late. If your response to all of this is in the affirmative, then your child is probably showing signs of delayed teething. Consult your doctor if this is the case.
Also Read: Baby Teething Remedies
Baby Born With Natal Teeth
Teething usually happens within the first year of a baby’s birth. Babies commonly grow their first tooth when they are around 6 to 8 months old. But occasionally some babies may be born with one or two teeth called natal teeth. Although such an occurrence is not abnormal, it is certainly rare.
What is Natal Teeth?
Baby born with teeth are called natal teeth. They are principally baby’s primary teeth that erupt prematurely. Natal teeth are also known as congenital teeth, foetal teeth, and precocious dentition. Usually, these teeth are not well-formed and can be either small, conical or regular, normal shaped. They can either be white or somewhat brownish yellow.
Is tt Normal for a Baby to be Born with Natal Teeth?
Babies being born with natal teeth is a rare occurrence. It happens approximately in one out of every 2000-3000 babies. In fact, the incidence of babies being born with natal teeth is higher than babies growing neonatal teeth (teeth which erupt during the first month after birth), the ratio estimated around 3 to 1.
Types of Natal Teeth
There can be four types of natal teeth which are listed below:
Small sized teeth which are beginning to develop from the gums
Loose teeth which are not well-formed and hardly have any root structures
Fully developed teeth with crowns attached to some root structures though still loose. Such teeth are also known as mature teeth.
A hint of a tooth just starting to appear through the gums
Some babies may be born with just one tooth present on the lower gum line. However, babies may also be born with two or more teeth emerging either from the lower or upper gum line although such incidences are even rarer. The occurrence of babies being born with molars as natal teeth are lower than 1 percent.
What are the Causes of Natal Teeth?
The manifestation of natal teeth in babies is commonly not linked to any medical disorder although a precise cause is not yet known. Nevertheless, in some cases, the occurrence of infant natal teeth can be ascribed to certain medicals conditions like Hallermann-Streiff Syndrome, Ellis-van Creveld Syndrome, Soto Syndrome, Pierre Robin Syndrome.
Sometimes babies with birth irregularities like cleft lip or dentin (a part of the tooth situated below the enamel) anomalies may have an increased probability rate of being born with natal teeth. Other contributing factors like malnutrition in pregnancy, trauma, mother getting exposed to toxins during pregnancy, the infection may also become reasons for natal teeth in infants. The likelihood of developing natal teeth is higher in babies if their parents and siblings were also born with natal teeth.
How Common are Natal Teeth & Where do they Usually Occur?
Studies show that natal teeth are not a common occurrence. Some statistics indicate that natal teeth may occur in approximately 1 out of 6,000 babies. While other data shows that the number stands at about 1 out of 2,700 babies. The actual number may lie somewhere within the range of these figures. Although the role of gender is controversial, natal teeth seem to be a more common occurrence in females as compared to males. Natal teeth in babies may usually occur as:
Lower central incisors
Lower molars and canines
Upper molars and canines
Complications Associated with Netal Teeth
Most doctors may propose the removal of natal teeth after a baby’s birth as there are certain complications associated with natal teeth like the following:
1. Breastfeeding Issue
Babies with natal teeth can pose some complications during breastfeeding. The mother may find it painful to feed the baby as there is always the possibility that the baby may bite. Although a baby with natal teeth can be trained not to bite, it may take time to do so. In case this doesn’t happen, the mother may consider switching to bottle feeding or a breast pump out of unease and pain. There can also be a likelihood of nursing mothers developing ulcers on the breasts because of the constant friction between the tender skin of the mother’s breast and the sharp natal teeth.
2. Natal Teeth Can Cause Ulcers on the Tongue
There is also a probability that ulcers may develop underneath baby’s tongue or the innermost side of the baby’s lower lip in case the natal teeth are sharp and continually rub against the soft tissue. Such a condition is called the Riga-Fede Syndrome. The treatment may include evening out the natal teeth’s rough edges or protective covering for the teeth.
3. Natal Teeth May Cause a Choking Hazard
Natal teeth may become a choking hazard for the baby if they happen to fall off as they usually are not well-formed with almost no root structures and therefore loose.
Early Teething: What is it?
Most babies start teething at the age of 6 to 8 months. Teeth which erupt within the first month of baby’s birth are called neonatal teeth. Sometimes babies can be early developers and may display signs of teething very early. Early teething can start at the age of 2 to 3 months. Although the baby may not grow his actual teeth till much later.
Homecare for Natal Teeth
It is important to keep the natal teeth hygienic. You can clean the natal teeth by wiping them gently with a moist, clean cloth. Also regularly examine the baby’s tongue and gums for any signs of ulcers or injury.
When Should You Consult a Doctor for Treatment?
The doctor upon examing the natal teeth may advise its removal in case the teeth seem loose or simply leveling the natal teeth to prevent any injury to the baby or mother while breastfeeding. You may also need medical treatment if the baby develops ulcers in his mouth.
You needn’t be alarmed if your baby is born with natal teeth. It is sensible to consult your doctor for addressing your concerns and taking guidance for timely treatment.
Broken Teeth in Kids - Causes, Treatment, and Prevention
Broken or chipped teeth in children is a common occurrence. Chipped teeth can be easily fixed by a dentist if proper care is taken after the injury. But as a parent, you must find out what causes it and how you can treat and prevent it in children.
How Does a Broken Tooth Appear?
There are many different ways a broken tooth can appear. It could be due to split teeth, where a crack in the tooth which starts from the bottom reaches all the way up to the gum. In extreme cases, the tooth might be separated into two parts. Cusp fractures or cracks that often happen near a filling damage the surface enamel; it is less painful as it does not extend into the internal pulp of the tooth.
Craze line at the tiny cracks are generally present on the enamel surface and is painless and requires no treatment. Another case is that of a root fracture. In this case, the crack starts to enter the gum line. It is rarely symptomatic, but extraction might be required.
What Causes a Cracked Tooth in a Child?
Kids love to play and explore their surroundings. However, their excitement and energy can get them into problems. Falling while playing can lead to minor injuries and when they fall on face, their teeth might break. Let's see what are the other causes of a cracked tooth in a child.
1. Undeveloped Motor Skills
Children, particularly those who are under the age of 2 are at a stage when their motor skills are developing. During their attempts to walk and move around, falling or stumbling is common, which often leads to chipped or broken milk teeth.
2. Contact Sports
Participating in contact sports is one of the common causes of dental injuries. For instance, contact sports like football, boxing, hockey, wrestling, basketball, skateboarding involve risk and a player might run into another, which can lead to injuries, including a broken tooth.
Anatomical features like extending upper teeth or a protruding overbite have a higher tendency of getting damaged. These conditions fall under Class II malocclusion.
Falling in general, such as while playing in the park, climbing, or running can cause chipped or broken teeth in kids.
5. Active Behaviour
Children who are generally more active or adventurous have a higher chance of cracking their tooth than those who are introverted or shy and like to stay at home.
6. Rash Decisions in Teenage
Teenagers tend to make a rash decision; they prefer excitement and thrill as compared to younger kids. Many teenagers get dental injuries through motor accidents, physical fights, and so on.
Some conditions that affect neuromotor skills, such as cerebral palsy or epilepsy increase the risk of falling, which can lead to broken teeth.
How to Deal with a Chipped Tooth in Children
What to do if your toddler falls and chips his front tooth? The first thing is to calm your child. There are a host of treatment options available, including both medical as well as home remedies.
Medical Treatment Options
Here are some medical treatments to consider:
If the chipped tooth is off-colour and your child is in pain, this means that the pulp tissue within the enamel has been severely damaged. In this scenario, a dentist might suggest a root canal treatment, which involves fixing the tooth from its root to its crown. In this, a dental crown is attached to hold the tooth in place.
If the crack is in the visible part of the tooth, such as the crown, a simple dental filling or tooth restoration will be sufficient. Here, there will be no discolouration or pain. The dentist may even add a dental cap to improve the structural integrity and the appearance of the tooth.
For a chipped or cracked tooth, a dental filling that resembles the colour of the tooth can be added to hide the cracked line in the enamel.
In case the breakage cannot be hidden by filling or restoration, the dentist might opt for a veneer to camouflage the tooth. This process is more extensive than the others but offers cosmetic benefits.
Here are a few home remedies you can try.
Lime: Lime is a great remedy for tooth pain caused due to tooth breakage. Slice the lime in half and gently apply the juice where it hurts.
Salt Water: Use warm salt water to rinse your child’s mouth. This prevents infection. You can make the solution with one teaspoon of salt in a cup of water. Make sure to rinse your child's mouth with warm salt water after mealtime.
Cold Compress: Placing a cold compress on the gum area works well if the breakage is accompanied by swelling and pain.
Garlic Clove: A garlic clove or a combination of garlic and clove oil works wonders to relieve pain when placed on the affected tooth.
Preventive Tips for Broken Tooth
You can’t prevent all the injuries of your child. However, with a few tips, you can ensure that they don’t experience anything too severe.
The most common cause of chipped or cracked teeth is not paying attention to children. Young children need constant supervision, especially when they indulge in energetic activities like playtime or sports. Accidents can be avoided by allowing your kids to play in a regulated environment.
Dental trauma due to sports and athletics requires the use of safety equipment. For instance, using a mouth guard when participating in contact sports like football, martial arts, or boxing is quite essential to avoid dental damage. These mouth protection devices are plastic splints that fit on the teeth and support them from outside.
Childproof your home, especially if your little ones are learning to walk and play. This includes the addition of corner guards to avoid bumping, staircase gates to prevent nasty falls, and carpeted rooms to soften any impacts. You can also set up guards over windows and doors to avoid any accidents.
When to Consult a Doctor
You may have to consult a dentist if:
You can see the internal pulp through the cracked tooth, meaning the damage has been extensive.
You feel that your child has or may get a tooth infection.
A permanent tooth has been knocked out entirely, as it can be reattached if you seek immediate attention.
The chipped part of the tooth has a sharp edge, which can cut the tongue or roof of the mouth.
As long as you follow the important tips outlined in this article, you have no need to be concerned about the broken teeth. In fact, you can use this chance to teach your child to be more responsible and safe.
Also Read: Tooth Decay in Children
9 Common Baby Teething Symptoms
Babies are the cutest when they smile and that cuteness is further amplified when there’s a tiny little tooth inside. When the first tooth of the baby starts making it way outside the gums, the process is termed as teething. However, the process is not painless for the little one. Once you know the right sign, you can be prepared to handle what’s coming next.
Video: 9 Common Baby Teething Symptoms
Signs and Symptoms of Teething in Infants
Here are the signs and symptoms of teething in infants.
1. Increased Biting
As the tooth starts emerging from the gums, the pressure it exerts can irritate the surface of the gum. In order to tackle it, babies may start biting on their favourite toys or try to chew their own fingers by biting down on them.
2. Reduced Appetite
The process of teething is painful and may cause the baby to be upset. All they can think about is relieving the pain. This ends up with the baby refusing to eat or drink anything at all.
3. Increased Drool from The Mouth
This is one of the giveaway signs that baby is teething. Excessive drooling starts taking place around this time. This may result in your baby having diarrhoea. All that poop in the diaper could result in a diaper rash, making the baby even more upset. Clean the diapers regularly and if you observe any pus in the stools, inform your doctor.
4. Mouth Rash
Another effect the drooling has is that the area around the mouth constantly stays wet. This starts irritating the soft skin in the area, resulting in a rash. This can be around the mouth, on the chin, and even the neck or chest areas, wherever the drool might have dribbled down. A lot of wiping can aggravate the rash so it is important to use soft baby wipes to keep the area dry.
5. Increased Sucking
Your baby will try every trick it knows to alleviate the weird pressure felt on the gums. Combined with biting, most babies also have a tendency to suck on anything they can find. Just make sure that anything that the baby puts in the mouth is clean and hygienic.
6. Pulling of Ears
The ear, nose and throat are all connected to each other. When teething starts occurring, the pain that babies feel in the gums can sometimes manifest in weird sensations in the ear. At times, pulling the ear can temporarily reduce the pain and the baby might get used to it. This results in them constantly trying to pull their ears.
7. Lack of Sleep
All that pressure on the gums and pain in the mouth doesn’t make it easy for the baby to fall asleep. The day naps and the night sleep all end up broken and the baby will constantly be restless and unhappy that it cannot sleep.
8. Irritable and Upset
When the baby tries everything possible to reduce the pain and does not understand why it is happening in the first place, they start getting cranky and cry for no reason whatsoever. The smallest things can get them irritated and they might even throw toys around. restless baby your baby and make him feel loved so that he calms down.
9. Fever Due To Teething
When it comes to baby teething symptoms, fever is one of those that is immediately noticed by the parents. This is nowhere close to an actual fever and the body is only slightly warm. Use a thermometer to ensure the body temperature of the baby is within safe limits. If the temperature is more than 100.4 degrees or the fever stays for extended times, the cause could be an illness or an infection and it is best to contact your doctor right away.
Various signs of baby teething at 3 months can give you an idea of what’s to come. Your baby will start discovering he has teeth now and will want to chew on and try newer things. The path towards that is riddled with a little bit of pain and a lot of crankiness. By taking small precautions and keeping your baby engaged to distract him from the pain, these days of teething will be quickly behind you.
Also Read: Baby Teething Remedies
Crooked Teeth in Babies - Reasons and How to Deal
A person’s teeth are an important factor in the physical beauty of a person and every parent wants to see their children’s happy bright smiles. Though in most cases crooked teeth happen only when the permanent teeth come in, there are chances that they could happen to your little one as well causing you to worry about if they will also develop crooked permanent teeth. While there are some who do, most others develop perfectly normal teeth in the future.
Why Are Your Baby's Teeth Growing Out Crooked?
If you may be wondering “why is my baby teeth growing crooked” wonder no more. Here we have a few reasons for why your baby may be developing crooked teeth.
1. Wrong Dental Habits
Babies tend to put everything they find into their mouths as this is one of the ways they explore their worlds, unfortunately, this could be a habit that causes your little one to develop crooked teeth. Some other bad dental habits that contribute to your baby developing crooked teeth are pacifiers, thumb sucking and prolonged bottle feeding.
2. Undeveloped Jaw
Your baby’s jaw is still growing and developing, so its small size makes it hard to hold all the teeth without looking overcrowded and slightly crooked.
3. The Role Of Genetics
If you or your partner have crooked teeth, the genes for crooked teeth are likely to pass on to your baby. It is most prominent if your baby inherits a small jaw from mum and large teeth from dad. Those who inherit small teeth will have gaps between their teeth at first, but when more teeth start to grow, the teeth come closer together making the teeth look a bit fuller and straighter than before.
4. Sleeping on The Stomach
Allowing your baby to sleep on his tummy is not a good idea for many reasons, one of which is that it encourages crooked teeth as it puts pressure on their cheeks and mouth. While you may not notice the change immediately, over time the crookedness becomes more evident. So, if you notice that your baby is falling asleep during tummy time, make sure to turn him over onto his back.
5. Tumour Or A Cyst
In the rarest of cases, there may be a tumour or cyst inside your baby’s mouth, leading to protruding front teeth. Consult with your dentist on this matter so that you will be able to get treatment for your baby.
What Must Parents Do If Their Child’s Teeth Are Crooked?
Crooked baby teeth, is this unusual? It is quite common for most children to develop crooked teeth due to their small jaws. Even normal sized teeth may sometimes make the mouth look overcrowded. If you want to do something to help your baby develop better teeth, here are some ways that you can help:
1. Better Oral Habits
It’s time to start developing the habit of brushing teeth as soon as your baby starts to teethe. Ensure that all the cavities get cleaned, and all the food particles get removed. Make it a habit that you check your baby’s teeth if they prefer brushing them by their own.
However, you can start getting them used to the process much earlier if you use some moistened gauze wrapped around your index finger, you can gently clean the inside of their mouths. You can use a Xylitol gel to clean your baby’s mouth.
2. Correct Bad Habits
If you are in the habit of using a pacifier to soothe your baby, it is alright. However, you need to ensure to start weaning your baby off the pacifier by age two to prevent your baby’s teeth from growing crooked. Thumb sucking should be corrected as well and can sometimes be harder to wean your child off than the pacifier.
3. Consult A Professional
It is best to consult a professional in cases like this so that you will be able to find out if there is treatment required or if your baby is experiencing the crooked teeth due to having a small jaw, something that will sort itself out as your child grows.
Can You Prevent Crooked Teeth In Infant?
Crooked teeth can be prevented in kids by developing good habits early in life. Follow the mentioned tips to prevent the chance of developing crooked teeth:
Do not let your little ones suck their thumbs
Take your kids for regular dental check-ups.
Teach your kids to brush gently on the gums.
Why Consult A Dentist?
As the saying goes “prevention is better than cure” so ensure to start taking your child’s dental health seriously from the beginning if you want to prevent them from having any problems with crooked teeth. While you may be contemplating “Is it normal for baby teeth to come in crooked”, your dentist will have all the answers you are looking for, especially since each child develops in a unique way.
Book an appointment with your dentist even if your baby doesn’t have any dental issues. Your dentist will be able to examine your baby’s mouth and jaw and advise you on how best to look after their oral health.
Your dentist will also be able to identify if your child has crooked teeth due to medical reasons such as a cyst or a tumour causes your baby to develop crooked teeth. This will enable you to discuss a plan of action and start treatment in order to heal your child of whatever the problem is.
Remember, most children who have crooked teeth develop a beautiful set of teeth in the future so ensure to keep up with their dental appointments so that you have expert advice on your child’s oral health and development. Rather than waiting for things go sour, develop good dental hygiene habits in your children from an early age. This will prevent many problems in the future and will prevent the need for braces later in life.
Late Teething in Babies
Signs & Symptoms of Teething in Babies
Braces for Kids Teeth - Types, Care Tips and Cost
In your childhood, or even now, you may have seen kids wearing braces, even some of them who seem to have perfect teeth. This might make you wonder if your own child needs braces once his teeth start showing up. Installing children’s orthodontic braces is an important decision and needs a proper understanding of various aspects surrounding it.
Why Do Children Need Braces?
Teeth do not seem to always grow in the right manner for every child. Some kids might have crooked teeth, some might have overlapping teeth, or for many others teeth might seem to be crowded in a single area. A condition termed as malocclusion could result in upper and lower jaws being of different sizes, which could need a pair of braces for correction.
Some habits such as incessant thumb-sucking could cause a teeth to protrude outward. Hereditary reasons are also a major factor in the development of teeth.
At What Age Should Kids Get Braces?
Braces are a tool to straighten the teeth. Hence, they are even used by adults as well. However, the effectiveness is higher in childhood since the bone structure is still under development. An age of 10 to 15 years is when most children have braces. If, of course, your child has a more evident condition of misplaced dental patterns, braces could be used by the age of 7 years itself.
The First Orthodontist Visit - What to Expect?
In all matters related to the teeth and braces, it is best to consult a dentist. Primarily, he will make astute observations around multiple aspects of the mouth such as the arrangement of the teeth, their shape, the alignment of the jaw, and so on. By asking your child to bite and checking the movement of the jaw, your dentist might also follow it up by asking if your child has any specific problems while talking or while eating or if there are any clicking sounds in the bone.
In case of a further investigation, an x-ray of the mouth is carried out to check how the teeth are arranged or how the future teeth are bound to arrive. Making a mould of your child’s bite pattern gives a better picture of the jaw movement. All these help your dentist in making a decision if your child needs braces and, if so, which ones.
Signs That Your Child's Teeth May Need Braces
A child may need braces in the following conditions:
If he has lost his milk teeth quite early in life or even quite later.
If the teeth in his jaw have a pattern of being crowded towards a certain area.
The new teeth that emerge from the gums appear from an incorrect position.
The teeth necessary for chewing do not make appropriate contact.
If he cannot chew food properly or is unable to bit hard food items.
If there are multiple instances where he has accidentally bitten his own cheek from the inside.
If he has been sucking on his thumb or has used a pacifier even beyond 6 years of age.
Different Types of Teeth Braces for Kids
Here are some of the different types of braces available that a dentist may suggest for kids:
1. Damon Braces
These are specific braces which make use of slides instead of wires to hold the teeth correctly. It is a passive method of correcting the teeth since it doesn’t make use of any elastic. This can cause some problems as well since it tends to push the teeth more than necessary and could even result in disturbing an existing precision. On the other hand, since there are no rings, these braces are easy to maintain and can be kept clean for long.
2. A-shaped Braces
A comparatively innovative concept in the dental market that allows independence in adjusting and aligning the braces, without the requirement of dental personnel. The shape of the braces resembles the letter ‘A’. The retainers on these braces can be adjusted to suit what you’re eating. Furthermore, since they don’t apply a lot of pressure, the pain experienced is low. On the downside, users need to remove the braces before going to sleep.
3. Spring Alignment Braces
More convenient than others, these braces have a spring that is used to carry out the alignment. These braces are usually meant for the frontal 6 teeth of both jaws and no more. Although slightly on the costlier side, it is a value necessary for the absolute comfort of wear.
4. Titanium Braces
Quite similar to the usual steel braces, the component that is used is different. This makes the braces a tad stronger and comparatively lighter than the usual ones. These braces are not generally recommended unless you tend to have an allergy towards the nickel used in traditional braces. Their rarity results in their costs being higher than usual.
5. Invisalign Braces
One of the easiest braces to be used since they are quite literally a mould of your teeth in plastic. Generally used by people who have crooked teeth, these are extremely expensive and take a long time to be manufactured since they are unique to you. Their effect, however, is far more advanced.
6. Lingual Braces
Contrary to the usual frontal placement of braces, these ones are fitted behind the teeth, turning them into a sort of invisible braces for kids that are quite conscious of having them displayed in the school. However, these braces are quite expensive, and their installation procedure is lengthy and complicated. Furthermore, it causes a lot of irritation to the tongue later on.
7. Gold Plated Braces
Rarely used by kids, these are primarily preferred by people who want a classy look for their braces, or if they are allergic to the nickel coating. Made out of stainless steel, they are pretty much similar to the traditional ones in other aspects.
8. Clear Braces
Another type of braces that are slightly invisible, these have a clear transparent look to them which can be available in different shades, too. Stronger than usual, they also tend to have higher friction, which results in the possibility of making teeth brittle, and causing trouble while removing them after the procedure.
To avoid constant visits to the dentist, such braces are used to reduce the treatment time and minimize dental review, too. These are expensive since they are made to suit your pattern and, hence, require minimal to no adjustment later on in life. Since they use no elastic and only a wire that passes through brackets, the pain and jaw discomfort is highly reduced.
10. Traditional Braces
The most common of them all, these are simply made out of stainless steel. A bracket is glued to the tooth and a wire is put through that is held with elastic ties. Most people these days avoid using these braces since using them comes with the condition of avoiding chewing gums or chips, as they can get easily stuck.
How to Take Care of Braces?
Taking proper care of braces is important for maintaining hygiene and for good oral health of a child. Know how to take care of braces:
Always brush your teeth after each meal to remove any stuck food particles.
Avoid sugary foods or sticky items and align braces for each meal.
If a wire or bracket has loosened, check with your dentist immediately.
How Much Do Braces Cost for Children?
Braces for children can cost anything from a range of Rs. 18,000 - Rs. 60,000 for the usual metal or ceramic braces, and more than Rs. 70,000 to about 2 lakhs for extremely advanced and customized braces.
Children’s braces and dentistry procedures are quite costly and making a decision is not a quick and easy job. By understanding all the options and choosing a brace that fits your budget and need, you can ensure your child’s dental health stays unaffected and resolves any problems that might arise.
Also Read: Teeth Grinding (Bruxism) In Children
Why and How to Preserve Baby Teeth
Parents love to keep certain mementoes from their child’s early years. Some may save the first footprints while some may keep locks of hair of their child. Similarly, some parents may even prefer preserving their child’s milk teeth. Many scientists of today also encourage parents to store their kid’s 'baby teeth' for stem cell research. However, you must know how to take proper care of your baby's teeth before you conserve them. After careful cleaning, you can either place them in a small container or stick them in a memory book as souvenirs.
Why Should You Preserve Your Baby's Teeth?
Teething is an important milestone. Babies can actually start teething as early as around two to three months of age, although their first tooth usually erupts by six months of age. And keeping track of your baby’s teeth i.e., when each one of them will erupt has never been easier, thanks to the Baby Teething Tool ! Give it a try to figure out when your little one will start teething and what you can do to help him through the process. When you see your baby’s first tooth, you’ll definitely be excited and will want to preserve it once it falls. Well, taking good care of his baby tooth (when it’s still in his mouth!) will ensure that it will be in decent condition to be preserved. And don’t worry, apart from losing some of its lustre over the years, there won’t be any other significant problem when it comes to preserving your baby’s tooth. Also, there is a reason why doctors recommend you do this.
Saving your baby's first teeth may also prove beneficial as they contain stem cells which have remarkable regenerative qualities. Simply put, stem cells can renew themselves and convert into more specialised cells with the ability to repair specific organs and tissues. Most doctors suggest keeping a child’s baby teeth, as the stem cells in their teeth can be harvested and later utilised for treating the child, if he suffers from any disease, like cancer or spinal cord injury. These stem cells can also be used for replacement tissue or cell therapy in case of burns and macular degeneration. Therefore, preserving baby teeth for stem cells can save a child’s life.
In case you are keen to donate your child’s early teeth for stem cell research, consult your dentist first for appropriate information and guidance.
Ways to Preserve Your Baby's Teeth
Before you go about preserving your baby's teeth, you must know how to preserve it the right way. Usually, parents like to keep the first tooth. Here is how you can store baby teeth for stem cells at home:
To protect your baby's teeth, first clean them properly with soap and water.
It is also important to disinfect the teeth. You can easily do this by using cotton swabs and brushing the teeth surfaces with rubbing alcohol.
Completely drying the teeth is also vital. In case the teeth are not properly dried it can lead to the development of bacteria. You can use a cotton towel to dry the teeth. Air drying for some time may also prove useful.
By preserving your baby's teeth or even his first tooth, you can hold on to the memories of his childhood. The practice of keeping your baby’s milk teeth can also save his life in the future by forming the basis of various treatment for life-threatening illnesses.
Also Read: How to Clean Baby Teeth
7 Tips to Put a Teething Baby to Sleep
Babies start teething between four and seven months after their birth. As a mother you get excited, when you see your baby teething. However, teething is extremely painful for a baby, causing many issues, including difficulty in sleeping. So, here are some ways in which can ease the pain and put your baby to sleep.
Signs and Symptoms of Teething
Teeth poking through the gums are painful, which is alleviated by applying pressure on the area. Hence, teething babies bite and chew on whatever they can find to suppress the pain, which is a natural instinct.
Teething makes babies drool more than usual, so if you notice excessive drooling, chances are your baby is teething. Keep a towel or napkin handy to wipe your child's chin every now and then.
The pain from teething puts babies in a sour mood. Expect your little one to be fussy and irritated during the teething phase.
4. Disrupted Sleep
The discomfort babies face may prevent them from being able to sleep peacefully, and you may notice your child periodically waking up in the middle of the night or having difficulty going to sleep.
5. Loss of Appetite
Though this may seem contradictory, the suction from nursing can cause the baby’s sore gums to feel worse, causing a loss of appetite. Try and soothe the pain before nursing, and you may notice the appetite rising.
6. Cheek Rubbing and Ear Pulling
You may notice you child pulling his/her ears or furiously rubbing his cheeks. This could happen as a result of shared nerve pathways in the cheeks and ears. However, excessive ear pulling could indicate a ear infection, so keep a look out.
Tips to Help a Child Sleep During Teething
As a new mother, you will receive ample advice on parenting, which is bound to boggle your mind. Your baby will be in intense pain, due to which his sleeping schedule may get disrupted. Therefore, here are some useful tips to get your teething baby to sleep.
1. Give the Baby Something Cold to Chew On
Cold desensitises nerves and reduces pain. This is why, nowadays, more toy companies are creating rubber or gel-core based teethers that can be refrigerated. Teethers are special toys, made to be chewed on by teething babies. The pressure on a baby’s teeth, caused by chewing, can provide relief from teething pain. The instinct to begin chewing to reduce the pain of teething is natural in humans and animals. If you do not have any refrigerator-friendly teething toys, you can substitute it with a clean, frozen cloth, instead. Do not freeze teething toys, as that will make them hard and could hurt your baby's teeth. Simply chill them before handing to your baby. Also, always be present to supervise your baby when he is chewing something. Teething toys are designed to be chewed and not swallowed, so keep an eye on your baby.
2. Massage the Gums
Your baby might refuse to sleep alone when he starts teething. As you lay the baby on the bed, massage his/her gums with your finger. This will ease the pain and help put your baby to sleep. If he/she wakes up in the middle of the night, you can massage the gums again. As you massage your baby's gums, you will be able to feel where the teeth are coming in. Focus on massaging these areas, in particular. Ensure that your fingers are clean before massaging your baby's gums.
3. Give Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea helps reduce inflammation, soothe stomach aches, boost immunity, promote relaxation, and induce sleep. Giving chamomile tea to a teething baby will provide relief from teething pain and even induce sleep. Chamomile tea can be given to a baby through a feeding bottle at room temperature or when mildly warm. You can even soak a clean rag in chamomile tea and freeze it before giving it to your baby to chew on. However, it should be noted that chamomile tea should not be given to babies who are less than six months of age. You can give it to a baby who has crossed the half-year mark, but it is advisable to consult a doctor before opting for this remedy. Make sure that the chamomile tea is at a slightly cool temperature, but not very cold. Also, while massaging the gums, a clean finger can be dipped into chamomile tea before massage.
4. Feed the Baby Cold Food Before Bedtime
Cold soothes pain in the gums and a full stomach induces sleep. You can give your baby cold yoghurt or cold fruits and vegetables, such as grapes or boiled carrots. However, keep in mind to give him age-appropriate food, i.e. fruits or veggies that can be chewed properly. An option here would be to buy a mesh feeding bag. This is used to start young babies on solid foods safely, without the risk of swallowing too big a piece, and choking.
5. Create a Calm Environment
To make your baby sleep, it is important that you set a sleeping schedule. When babies have a set pattern of sleep, their bodies adjust accordingly. A bed-time routine automatically makes them sleepy as bedtime approaches, as it subconsciously signals that it is time to sleep when certain activities are performed in a set sequence, for a period of time. It essentially works on the same principles of habit formation. The routine could include a warm bath, changing to pyjamas, reading a short story, singing to your baby or rocking him in your arms until he falls asleep.
Breastfeeding calms your baby. As your baby begins teething, he might gnaw on your nipples and hurt you. To prevent this, massage your baby’s gums prior to feeding. Breastfeeding is an effective way to soothe your baby and put him to sleep.
7. Use Pain-killing Medication
This should be your last resort if you’ve tried the other methods, without any positive result. Pain-killers can help alleviate your baby’s pain and put him to sleep. Always consult your doctor before resorting to medication. Do not buy over-the-counter pharmaceutical products for this. Painkillers such as Ibuprofen have special, diluted formulas made particularly for children and babies. Do not use adult painkillers. Also, consult your paediatrician before giving any medication to your little one.
How Long Does the Teething Pain Last?
It is hard to say how long teething pain lasts. For example, a baby might feel the pain for months before the teeth actually come through. Meanwhile, others may feel the pain once the teeth have formed in the gums and are making their way out. The intensity of pain may differ from one baby to another. However, the pain mostly goes away once the tooth has grown out of the gums. While your baby’s front teeth do come up in the first year, the back set of molars appear after the first year, so there is a period of relief from teething stress.
Always watch your baby if he is chewing on something, be it a teething toy, rag, or food. A baby may choke on it, so be careful.
Consult your physician before you give painkillers to your child.
If the teething toy is secured on a string around your baby’s neck, do not leave it on when putting your baby to sleep. It could get stuck somewhere and end up strangling the baby when he/she rolls over.
A common, but dangerous home remedy is to rub crushed aspirin tablets on your baby’s gums. Do not opt for this remedy, as it may cause the baby to become extremely sick.
Babies sometimes develop a habit of pulling their ear while teething, as the pain of teething may transfer to the ear canal. If the pain is excessive, consult a doctor, as your baby could be suffering from a ear infection.
Do not use over-the-counter creams or gels on your baby’s gums as a numbing medication.
1. Should I Continue Sleep Training During Teething?
Yes, sleep training should continue during the teething phase. Keep in mind that this “phase” comes back around after the first year, and indeed, it will take up to 3 years before a child has all his/her milk teeth in place. Teething will disrupt a few nights’ sleep, but you should continue sleep training your child. Sticking to regular sleep timings and enforcing them by building a bed-time routine is one of the keys to putting your teething baby to sleep. Foregoing sleep training because your baby is teething and cannot sleep due to the pain usually makes it more difficult for the baby to sleep.
2. Can Teething Make Some Babies Sleep More?
According to a popular website, some parents have anecdotally reported that their kids slept more while they were teething. Teething can make a baby feel a bit dull, and hence, he/she might sleep more. However, there is no evidence to prove this. Your baby might be sleeping more because he is going through a growth spurt. Babies are in a growing phase, and although their growth may not always be constant, it can be rapid at one time and stable during another time; hence, the term “growth spurt”. Children going through a growth spurt are observed to sleep more, whether while taking naps or sleeping through the night. Teething is a natural process, and sometimes, the natural process can involve pain. As a mommy, you know best, so do what you think is right.
Meanwhile, stick to sleep training because, in some years, your child will be alright, waking up well-rested after a sound night of sleep, with a precious smile showing off brand new white teeth, which is all you need to forget the tough teething nights.
Also Read: Newborn Baby Feeding and Sleeping Schedule
Is Diarrhoea a Symptom of Teething?
On seeing your baby's first tooth, you will be overjoyed. But teething can be an uncomfortable experience for a baby, especially when he is unable to convey his pain to you. There are many symptoms of teething in babies and diarrhoea is one of them. If your baby is teething and is suffering from diarrhoea, read to know what you can do.
Why Do Babies Get Diarrhoea While Teething
The connection of teething with diarrhoea has been established as many parents noticed it in their children. However, there is no evidence justifying that teething and diarrhoea are connected. An increase in drooling while teething was also thought to be a cause of diarrhoea while teething. Saliva production in the mouth is more during teething and babies may swallow a lot of saliva during this stage, which may disturb the balance of the gastric system, causing diarrhoea to manifest within. However, even this cannot be taken as the exact cause of diarrhoea in babies.
What is strongly believed today is that both these activities are connected but indirectly, making them almost coincidental but not strange. Teething is a difficult period for an infant. The constant irritation in the gums causes them to reach out for different objects, which are then held in the mouth and chewed. These objects may not necessarily be clean and could have germs and other microbes on them. Since babies tend to put everything they can find in their mouth, the chances of bacteria entering the body are extremely high, and hence they may get diarrhoea. A baby's immune system is also not fully developed and hence his body may not fight bacteria and infections, and as a result, he may get diarrhoea.
While this explanation might be satisfactory, it poses a grave danger for the child. The early years of a baby are usually filled with instances where infections keep occurring all the time. Be it intestinal infections or ear infections, a child is constantly battling them until the immune system becomes strong enough to wade them off. The diarrhoea that emerges during teething could, in fact, camouflage the symptoms of the actual infection. Loose motions might be attributed to poor hygiene practice and would be disregarded as a normal occurrence when, in fact, it could indicate the presence of a stronger infection thriving within that needs immediate medical attention.
How Long Does Teething Diarrhoea Last?
If the diarrhoea manifests primarily when the teething behaviour sets in for the child, the symptoms should usually go away in a few days once the right precautions are taken. However, if the problem continues for around a week or more and tends to repeat every month, you may need to take your child for a medical examination.
Tips To Deal With Teething Diarrhoea In Infants
Diarrhoea that occurs when your child is undergoing teething is quite discomforting, but it does not call for any particular treatment. However, you may need to intervene immediately if the little one has diarrhoea for more than a few days and passes loose stools nearly 5-6 times in a single day. Here is what you can do if your baby has diarrhoea:
1. Talk To Your Doctor
The consistent presence of teething diarrhoea should be brought to your doctor’s attention as soon as possible. This helps in diagnosing the presence of any other infections that might be causing similar symptoms, and corrective action can be taken accordingly. At times, certain medication might also be recommended to counter the condition or the bacteria, too. Talking to your doctor is highly recommended as diarrhoea can dehydrate your infant.
2. Maintain Hygiene
The process of teething causes immense irritation to the gums of the baby. While most babies cry due to it, others attempt to calm themselves down by biting down the gums or chewing on any hard objects they can lay their hands on. These could be toys or even other items specifically bought to counter his teething issues. If these are not kept clean and sanitized regularly, it can be an open invitation for numerous microbes to enter his body, which can cause infections to thrive within and worsen his health.
3. Adjust the Diet of Your Child
If your child is experiencing diarrhoea as a result of teething, an adjustment to his diet could provide some important benefits to his body. Start by increasing the frequency of breastfeeding or formula milk. Give him enough fluids to keep his body hydrated. You can also feed him purees of vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and bananas. Rice water can also be given. All of these foods can keep the diarrhoea under control. Also, If you give cow milk or juices to your child, stop it temporarily until the diarrhoea is relieved.
With the above-mentioned tips, you can prevent diarrhoea from occurring in the first place. Teething is a natural process of the child’s development and diarrhoea is one of its symptoms. But, worry not as your baby will be fine in a few days. However, if the problem persists for long, feel free to consult a doctor!
Also Read: Common Baby Teething Symptoms
Teething Fever in Babies
Your baby is likely to have his first few teeth poking out through his gums anytime between four and seven months. Various other symptoms usually accompany teething in babies. Teething symptoms like fever, irritability and a general nature of discomfort can make babies cranky and leave them in pain. Understanding what these symptoms are can help you pain relief measures for your baby.
Does Teething Cause Fever in Babies?
The question, "Do babies get a fever when teething?", is very common among parents as many have noticed their babies developing a mild fever during teething. However, there is no scientific evidence that teething causes symptoms like a fever in babies. This is because the body temperature can rise slightly while teething, but it doesn’t increase enough to be considered a fever. If your baby has a rectal temperature over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, along with other symptoms including diarrhoea, lack of appetite, vomiting, etc., it may indicate a different illness. It is best to seek medical advice to rule out any serious complications in these instances.
What Are the Causes of Teething Fever in Babies?
There are some answers as to why babies get a fever when teething. As the teeth break out of the gums, there is inflammation of the gums, which may cause a low-grade fever. Teething fever could also be a result of the body’s defence against bacteria. When the gums open up, there may be some transient bacteria that get into the blood of the baby. The body’s fight against this bacteria could lead to a low-grade fever.
In addition to this, there is an excess formation of saliva, which reaches the gut and causes your baby’s stool to loosen. However, the stools will not be like stools during diarrhoea.
Till What Time Does Teething Fever Last in Infants?
Inflammation in your baby’s teeth happens when the gums swell before the teeth break out. The pain and fever that accompanies this inflammation last for a day or two before it subsides. Since the teeth may break out at different times, you may find that your child runs a mild temperature each time. However, as each tooth erupts, the pain and the body temperature would be slightly lower than the previous one.
How to Treat Teething Fever in Infants?
Since teething fever is very mild, you will not have to resort to the use of medications to treat it. Baby teething fever remedies in the form of tablets is also not recommended as there is no evidence that these work and they aren’t regulated.
Also, make sure that you don’t mistake your child’s urge to chew for pain. You will need to provide your child with safe plastic or rubber toys to soothe this urge. Pacifiers and frozen teething rings can also help reduce the irritation in your baby’s gums and keep them distracted. Don’t give any toys that can break into little pieces and cause a choking hazard to your baby.
You could also dip your finger in some cold water and gently massage your baby’s gums to relieve the pain. Check with your doctor to see if there are any ointments that are suitable for relieving the baby of pain.
If you notice rashes on your baby’s face, especially on the chin due to excess saliva, you can consult your doctor about using mild creams or petroleum jelly to treat it. Remember to dab the saliva off and not rub it as the latter will only worsen the rash.
Avoid These Mistakes to Get Fast Relief
It is natural that parents would want their babies to feel better at the earliest and try to do everything they can to make this happen. However, these are a few things you should avoid when trying to help your baby feel better during teething.
Setting the temperature of the room very low: The temperature of your baby’s room should always be between 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. This can help him relax and feel comfortable.
Adult medication: Never give your baby medicines that are meant for adults, in any dose. Always consult your doctor before giving any medicines to your baby.
Cold water: Don’t give your baby cold water to help him feel better. Water is not recommended for babies younger than 6 months old. You could breastfeed or formula-feed him instead. If your baby is over 6 months of age, you can give him water at room temperature, as it is a healthier option than cold water.
When to Call a Doctor
It is natural for your baby to be cranky and generally in a bad mood when he is teething. This is justified due to all the discomfort he is going through. However, if you notice the following signs in your baby during teething, it may indicate something more and medical advice is recommended at the earliest.
Your baby is younger than 3 months and has a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or above
Your baby is older the 3 months and has a temperature of 102 degrees Fahrenheit or above
The fever lasts for over 24 hours
Your baby has vomiting, rashes, and diarrhoea along with fever
Your baby looks very tired and sick
If the teething rings or relief measures don’t soothe him
Fever during teething in babies is not a serious concern as long as the temperature stays under the mentioned limit. However, if you notice a high fever along with other symptoms, your baby will need immediate medical care in order to rule out any serious illnesses.
Also Read: Order of Teething in Babies
Teething Rash in Babies - Causes and Home Remedies
Has your child been drooling excessively? Can you spot reddish marks on his/her chin areas and near the mouth? Teething drool rash or dribble rash is something that is commonly seen in babies when they drool a lot. There are a few reasons to why babies drool a lot. One of the most common reason is teething.
What is Teething Rash?
A teething rash is another name that is given to drool rash which happens when a baby is teething. Most babies start teething when they are about 6 months old, and you can notice how it causes the baby to drool. Along with teething rash on face, cheek, and neck, you can also note other signs like sensitive gums, chewing on hard things and also irritability.
Causes of Drool Rash in Infants
Drooling might seem all right, but it is not always okay because drool has digestive enzymes which affect the sensitive skin of the baby. The baby skin is reacting to the liquid, and it forms bumpy rashes that can irritate the little one and can also cause infection. It is always better to take precautionary methods and help your little one through this process.
Home Remedies for Baby Drool Rash
You can keep a small soft absorbent pad under his face while he is sleeping. This will pull in the moisture and help to a large extent to avoid rashes. When your baby wakes up, during intervals, you can take the opportunity to clean the drool and replace the sheet if necessary.
You can also add a little Aloe Vera to petroleum jelly. It will help in controlling the itchy feeling.
Coconut oil also helps in skin care. It has anti-fungal and anti-microbial elements that will fight bacteria in the rash. The oil forms a protective sheet over the rash as well.
You can wet a soft washcloth and keep it in the refrigerator for an hour. Take it out and ask your baby to chew on the cloth. This can relieve the pain for some time at least.
Sometimes baby drooling happens because of a sore throat. You can try using a cool mist humidifier which will keep the surrounding air a little moist. This will help the baby feel relieved from a dry and itchy throat.
If your little one is above 6 months, then you can try giving him little cold water or juice that is diluted. You can do this between meal times to make sure that his throat is not too dry.
Rub your little one’s gums gently with clean hands; the pressure can relieve him from the pain.
If your baby has started with solid food, then you can try some chewy vegetables for gnawing. Just make sure that they are cut properly and does not cause choke.
Prevention of Teething Rash in Babies
The drool rash can get worse when the baby keeps rubbing the rash just to feel a little good. When the baby rubs these rashes with unclean hands, the bacteria that is present in the baby’s hands enter the cracks and makes the condition worse.
Wipe The Drool Off : Gently wipe the baby drool that forms on the baby’s chin and chest area. Make sure that you don’t rub it too hard. Rather use a tissue or a soft towel to clean the area before it causes drool rash on neck, face and other areas.
Use Baby Moisturizers : Using a little moisturizer around the drool area or lightly over it helps to avoid the rash from spreading. It also reduces the feeling of irritation that the child is facing. You can use petroleum jelly to do this. You can also add a little Aloe Vera to petroleum jelly. It will help in controlling the itchy feeling.
Use Baby Bibs : This is the safest and probably the most effective one to avoid rashes in the neck and chest area. The soft protective layer avoids the baby’s dribbles to settle on the skin, eventually protecting the baby from any rash.
Mild Baby Wash : Sometimes these rashes tend to spread to the rest of the skin. To avoid this, you can choose to use an unscented baby wash as this avoids it from spreading.
When Should You Call the Doctor?
At times the rashes can get complicated as it spreads, and babies tend to rub it a lot. This is not safe at all. You need to meet your paediatrician. At times, the rash can get too infected, and it can even start to smell quite bad.This is again a sign that you have to call the doctor for some baby drool rash treatment. Don’t let your child go through the pain. When the baby is too uncomfortable and is struggling because of these rashes, it is better to do something and get rid of them rather than waiting for it to heal. One thing you need to avoid during the teething process of your infant is teething medications which has pain reliever benzocaine because this can lead to issues as it reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood.
Teething is a natural process that you see in your little one. These are positive signs of growth, but there are a few things like drools and infections that come along. You don’t need to panic as these things can be controlled. Just be sure to take little steps to help your baby through the process. Try and help your little one as much as possible using the various home remedies that are available and this should help the little one. However, when things get uncontrollable and if you see the signs getting worse instead of getting better, then you need to call the paediatrician.
Baby Teething Remedies that Work
Order of Teething in Babies
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The chart shows when your child’s primary teeth should erupt and shed. Eruption/Shedding timeline varies from child to child
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