All what you need to know about teething…

Has your baby started teething? Excited about his/her first teeth? That’s a great memory that we parents will always remember. Do you want to know more about teething issues and how to deal with it? We’ll do our best to answer all your questions related to teething in this article.

1. When should I expect my baby’s first teeth?
Babies develop their first teeth between the age of 6 months and 18 months. So if your baby is 1 year old and still has no teeth, no need to worry at all. Some babies are “early teethers” while others are “late teethers”. Teething age can be genetic but it is also related to whether your baby has started walking or not: usually babies that walk early will be “late teethers” while babies that teeth first will be “late walkers”. However there are some babies will teeth and walk at the same time: these babies will have their first teeth and steps by the age of one year.

2. What are the signs that my baby is teething?
Usually babies that teeth will drool a lot, or will have this temptation of biting any object. This “biting reflex” is due to the fact that the baby is irritated or in pain as his gums are swollen when the teeth erupt.
Diarrhea, fever and other cold like symptoms are not signs of teething.

3. How can I sooth the teething pain of my baby?
You can give to your baby soft objects (like teethers which are available in many kids’ stores and pharmacies) or food to bite: this definitely helps to relief the pain. Based on personal experience a cold cucumber or apple does the trick during the day while at night a cold pacifier/teether will be very helpful. If the pain is unbearable, you can give to your baby a pain killer after referring to your doctor (acetaminophen is one the safest for babies).
Teething gels are not recommended especially if they contain benzocaine or belladonna as active ingredients: according to the Food and Drug Administration – USA (FDA), these ingredients are not safe for babies.

4. When will my baby have all his teeth?
By the age of 3 years old (latest), babies will have their full set of teeth. To ensure a smooth teething for your babies, it is important to give on daily basis vitamin D and calcium supplements to your little ones (discuss with your doctor the supplement doses to be given). You should also encourage your babies to eat food rich in calcium and vitamin D (milk, yoghurt, cheese, green vegetables, etc.).

5. When should my baby start brushing his teeth?
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), babies should start oral hygiene once they have their very first tooth. You can brush their teeth twice daily using a toothpaste with fluoride. No need for a lot of toothpaste, one drop (the size of a rice grain) is more than enough when you’re brushing only one tooth.

When it comes to develop new teeth, every baby has his own pace. No need to panic if your baby will teeth later than his/her peers. He/she will have all his/her teeth sooner or later. What really matters is to keep those teeth clean by teaching our little ones oral hygiene once they have their first tooth.

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Dr. Reem Khalaf Bachelor of Pharmacy and Biotechnology (German University in Cairo) instagram account : babychef_eg
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