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My son is among the early bloomers. He had his first tooth when he was two months old. During those times, I was so pre-occupied with work stuff, household chores and mummy duties that I didn’t notice his first tooth appearing. His teething experience went on as swift as we expected it to be.
Reflecting back on those days, I realised how lucky I was to not experience what other parents had gone through. Sleepless nights and non-stop crying are common when nursing a teething kid. But all the hardships will be gone as soon as you see the first baby teeth coming out of the gums.
Everything you need to know about baby dental care
Every baby is special and unique. My son had his milk teeth almost complete by 18 months, while some are just about to start in this journey. Here are some of the reasons why some babies have late teeth development.
In most cases, late teeth development is due to genetics. If late teething runs in the family, then there is a pretty high chance that your child will also have his teeth developed later than most babies. On the other hand, if you are pretty sure that it is not due to some hereditary factors, then might as well consult with a pediatrician. This is because delayed teeth eruption is commonly associated with some medical conditions such as odontodysplasia, Down syndrome and amelogenesis.
The lack of nutrients and vitamins are the other factors causing late teething. Are you purely using baby formula? If so, you might want to consider mixing breast milk and baby formula to ensure that your baby is getting enough calcium and vitamin C to support bone development, boost immunity and lessen the risk of delayed teething.
What Are Epstein’s Pearls?
Also known as gingival cysts, Epstein’s pearls are the harmless whitish-yellow protrusions behind your baby’s gums. The cysts are benign and helpful in a way as they have epithelial cells which protect the tissue from being damaged by microbes and outside dirt. Epstein’s pearls are developed during pregnancy and are commonly seen during the early months of your baby. The are no recommended treatments for gingival cysts as it will go away on its own in weeks time.
How Do We Prevent Our Kids From Having Snaggle or Crooked Teeth?
Many parents are having troubles dealing with their kids who have snaggle teeth. It may sound petty to other people, but growing up with crooked teeth will surely have an effect on your child. In addition to being at risk of having gum diseases, growing up with this condition will surely impact their self-esteem, especially when they start attending schools.
So, how do we prevent our children from growing up with crooked teeth? Among the things that you can try is to wean your baby off thumb sucking as early as you can since this behaviour can affect their jaws’ development. Setting regular dental visits is also helpful to catch and correct teeth growth and alignment.
Dealing With Dental Emergencies
Kids are naturally playful and are always in action which put them at risk of having dental emergencies. Losing or chirping a tooth will result to the development of crooked teeth and other serious dental problems if not acted immediately. As a first aid treatment, apply a cold pack to ease gum swelling and immediately call a dentist if your baby has a chipped or dislodged tooth since this can result to severe pain.
My son was two years old when I first brought him to our family dentist. I was really confident that his teeth were still in good shape because we never missed a day of brushing and flossing. However, to my surprise, our dentist found four dental cavities in him. He also recommended having his tooth extracted to prevent the dental caries from spreading and infecting the others.
Some people assume that twice-a-day brushing, flossing and low sugar intake are enough to lessen our kids’ risk of having tooth decay and dental cavities. Although these are a good start, visiting your dentist at least twice a year is still the best way to prevent your child from having tooth decay. Oral prophylaxis also helps as it uses fluoride and other materials to minimise plaque development on their teeth.
Taking Good Care of Your Baby Teeth
Parents should not take their kids’ dental care for granted as having serious teeth problems can affect their appetite and speech development. Below are some simple tips that you can follow to take good care of your baby’s milk teeth.
- Gum Care – Proper dental care starts even before your baby’s first teeth are out. Removing the bacteria off the gums is important to remove any plaque that can damage the developing baby teeth. Moisten a soft gauze or cloth and gently wipe the gum. Make it a habit to clean your baby’s gum before bedtime and after feedings.
- Brushing – Brush teeth twice a day. Use a soft toothbrush during the first few years of your baby. Start with a small unit of fluoride toothpaste, as small as a rice grain, and incrementally increase this to reach the size of a pea.
- Regular dental visits – Prepare your child before your scheduled visit. Help him understand the importance of the checkup and try to remove any anxiety or negative feeling that he has about the appointment. Have a good relationship with the dentist and ask important questions such as those related to teething, proper oral care routine and managing dental problems.
- Be a role model – Parents are the first teachers and role models of our children. Be a good example to your kids. Show them the right way of flossing and brushing the teeth. Limit sweet and starchy snacks in the house. Above all, be there for them and always remind them how important dental health is to your life.