Dental Care for Babies and Children

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Babies are all different and will develop at their own rate. When it comes to teething, most babies will show their first tooth at some point during their first year, however there are cases where babies are already born with their first teeth, although this is pretty rare. Some babies can show their first teeth as early as four months where for others it can be nearer 12 months.

It can be easy to spot when your baby is beginning to cut their first teeth. Look out for these common signs:

Baby teething symptoms

Quite often your baby can cut their first teeth with no obvious pain or discomfort at all. Other times you may notice some changes in behaviour or habits that can give you a clue, such as:

  • One cheek is pink or flushed
  • Your baby is gnawing or chewing on things a lot
  • Your baby becomes more fretful than usual
  • Your baby is dribbling much more than usual
  • The gum is inflamed and red where the tooth is breaking through

No one knows your baby better than you do. Should your baby develop symptoms that begin to cause you concern or make you anxious, then call NHS 111 for some advice. You can also book an appointment to see your GP if you are really worried and want your baby to be seen by someone.

How baby teeth emerge

Baby teeth have a habit of coming through in a specific order. Usually the first teeth to emerge are the bottom incisors. These are the front teeth that are located in the lower jaw. This often happens around the 5 to 7 month mark, and can be easily spotted as small white areas pushing up through the gums.

This is often followed by the top incisors. These are the front teeth that are on the upper jaw. These tend to break through at around the 6 to 8 month mark. These are then normally followed by the top lateral incisors that are situated on either side of the top front teeth. These usually make an appearance at around the 9 to 11 month mark, with the bottom lateral incisors coming through by about 10 to 12 months.

The first molars are the crushing and grinding back teeth, and these come through between the age of 12 to 16 months usually. The canines, or fangs, as children like to call them, come through later at around 20 to 30 months of age. Usually, most children will have cut all their milk teeth by the age of around two and a half.

Taking care of baby teeth

As soon as their first teeth start to break through, you can start with a gentle brushing routine. This is a good routine to get into as baby will quickly get used to having their teeth brushed and it will become a normal daily routine for them as they get older and can start brushing by themselves.

You can buy a baby toothbrush and use just a tiny bit of toothpaste. There are a whole range of children’s toothpastes to choose from that you can easily buy from shops and supermarkets. Ask your dentist for a recommendation.

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