At Melbourne Orthodontics, we care about your whole family’s oral health — from birth through adulthood. We want all of our patients’ family members to have great health and great smiles. Early on, one major issue parents are faced with is when their baby is teething. This natural process is extremely uncomfortable for them, and it’s often hard for parents to tell the difference between teething symptoms and a different type of health problem. Here is some advice from your orthodontist in Melbourne, FL to help get you and your baby through this uncomfortable stage of life!
Stages for Teething
All 20 of your child’s baby teeth are usually developing in the jaws from the moment of birth. But the first baby teeth usually won’t start trying to erupt from the gum line until your baby is at least four months of age (but it is not unheard of to have one of them erupt prior to birth. The bottom front ones are usually the first ones you’ll see as they appear through the gums. The process will continue until your baby is somewhere between 24 and 36 months of age. That’s the typical range of when the primary second molars, the last baby teeth, erupt.
The main problem parents have with the teething process (aside from the lack of sleep) is that it can be hard to tell whether your baby is fussy and crying from teething, or if they are coming down with an illness of some kind. Here’s a look at some of the most common symptoms associated with teething, how to relieve them, and when to call your pediatrician.
Biting & Gnawing
Biting things is how your baby relieves the pressure caused by the baby teeth trying to erupt. Cold things work great for pain relief when your baby is teething. A frozen teething ring or teething toy is something safe for your baby to bite down on, which will also soothe the pain from teething.
Babies tend to drool a lot even when they’re not teething, but the teething process can dial the drool level up even more! The problem with this is that the excess saliva can cause skin rashes around the baby’s mouth. Keeping the area around the mouth clean and dry will help with this.
A fever is one of the main symptoms to watch out for with your baby, because it’s hard to tell whether it’s a low-grade fever from teething, or a fever associated with an illness like a cold. Coughing and a fever is a sign that your baby has a cold, and should prompt a call to your pediatrician.
A low-grade fever can be anything from 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit to 101 degrees. This can be caused by teething itself, or by your baby putting his or her unclean hands in their mouth. If a fever hits 101 degrees and keeps climbing, it’s more serious. Talk to your pediatrician about appropriate medicine or other pain relief methods, based on your baby’s age.
Coughing can be caused by the excess saliva from drooling, or due to a cold or other illness. If the coughing is only occasional, it’s probably just from the drool. If the cough is accompanied by a fever, it’s probably a sickness, and you should contact your pediatrician.
Ear Pulling & Cheek Rubbing
The pain from teething can cause your baby to pull their ears or rub their cheeks. Massaging your baby’s gums with a clean finger can help to relieve the pressure, as well as cold chewing toys. If the ear pulling continues, however, it could be a sign of an ear infection. Ear pulling and fever should prompt a call to the pediatrician.
This is by far the most common symptom of your baby teething. They get irritable from the constant pressure, and they let you know about it at all hours of the night. Those tried and true methods of cuddling your baby, walking them around the house, singing to them, telling them stories and distracting them until they fall asleep again are the best ways to help.
Call Your Orthodontist in Melbourne
Your child’s first trip to the orthodontist in Melbourne should happen no later than age 7, when they have a mixture of baby teeth and permanent teeth. We’re looking forward to your child’s first visit with us here at Melbourne Orthodontics! Contact our office to set up an appointment.