Aug 21 , 2020
One of the most difficult parts of parenting is wading through lots of myths and misconceptions about baby care. With so much conflicting information about baby teeth going around, it can seem impossible to figure out how you can keep your little one’s pearly whites in top shape. Here are some myths and truths about baby teeth to help put your mind at ease.
When Should My Baby’s Teeth Emerge?
Twenty primary teeth usually begin to develop before birth. These primary teeth will then emerge when a baby is around six months old.
The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that parents remember the timing of primary tooth eruption using the 7+4 mnemonic: Kids should have their first teeth at seven months of age. By the time they’re eleven months old, they should have four primary teeth. When they turn 15 months old, they should have eight primary teeth, and so on. All twenty primary teeth should emerge by the time they’re twenty-seven months old.
In other words, parents are advised to check whether four new teeth have emerged after every four months beginning from the time the first tooth emerges. Babies who were born prematurely or with low birth weight may experience delayed tooth eruption, so it’s best to seek advice from a pediatric dentist if your baby’s teeth are slow to emerge.
Myth #1: Fluoride Should Be Avoided
Fact: Fluoride is essential for early cavity prevention.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents use a tiny smear of toothpaste (no bigger than a grain of rice) for babies who are at least 18 months old. That way, they can minimize any risk of accidental swallowing, as well as eliminate bacteria that could cause early childhood cavities. Parents can also strengthen a baby’s first teeth with fluoride by providing a small amount of fluoridated water.
Many parents are hesitant to use fluoride on kids younger than two or three due to concerns over excessive fluoride use and accidental ingestion. However, avoiding fluoride at an early age might not be a great idea. Kids won’t be able to get the cavity protection they need if they keep relying on non-fluoridated products for way too long.
Myth #2: Toothless Babies Don’t Need Oral Care
Fact: A baby’s gums need as much love and care as baby teeth.
It’s vital for parents to clean their baby’s gums for at least a few minutes a day. Even though oral bacteria might not be too much of a concern for toothless babies, gum cleaning still comes with plenty of benefits.
Parents are advised to gently clean their baby’s gums with gauze or a clean and damp washcloth. This helps your baby become less anxious about brushing and soothes discomfort from teething. Regular gum cleaning also ensures that emerging teeth aren’t affected by plaque that has formed along the gums.
Myth #3: My Baby Doesn’t Need Dental Check-Ups
Fact: Babies benefit from visiting a dentist every six months.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies see a dentist 6 months after their first tooth emerges or when they reach 1 year of age. Even if your baby’s teeth are still quite new, they can show signs of early tooth decay. Your baby’s dentist can help alleviate any signs of trouble right away, inform you of potential cavity risks, discuss plans on how to keep your baby’s teeth and gums in good shape, and recommend essential baby oral care equipment.
Another reason to have your baby visit the dentist is that it helps them feel less anxious about dental check-ups. Helping your baby get used to the dentist ensures that future visits aren’t stressful or terrifying for them. Dental visits also lessen the risk of your child getting emergency dental treatment at an early age as your child is less likely to suffer from tooth decay and swollen gums when oral problems are treated right away.
Myth #4: Baby Teeth Don’t Have to be Cleaned
Fact: Unhealthy baby teeth lead to unhealthy adult teeth
Baby teeth shouldn’t be neglected for any reason. Any cavity that is left untreated can turn into a terrible infection, which can then affect the entire body—including adult teeth growing underneath!
Neglecting childhood cavities only leads to pain and swelling, as well as emotional stress and severe damage to adult teeth forming near infected tooth roots. There’s also the fact that permanent baby teeth with infections can become dislodged, leading to crooked adult teeth and a misaligned bite.
Caring for baby teeth right from the start is the best way to ensure that your child doesn’t suffer from nasty oral problems in adulthood. Your child will also get to develop good oral care habits and a more responsible sense of self-care when you help him care for his baby teeth straight away.
Myth #5: There’s No Way to Soothe Discomfort
Fact: There are many safe ways to soothe teething discomfort.
You don’t have to watch helplessly while your baby wails in pain. There are plenty of safe ways to ease your baby’s discomfort while their teeth emerge.
One great way to soothe a teething baby is to gently massage their gums. By applying a little pressure on the gums, you can soothe pain and keep track of how close a tooth is to emerging. You can also soothe teething woes by allowing your child to chew on safe, non-toxic chewing toys. If needed, you can also consult your pediatrician regarding safe pain relievers for babies.
Myth #6: Teething Always Comes With Fever
Fact: Baby teething doesn’t cause a high fever
It’s normal for babies to experience a slightly higher body temperature while teething. However, body temperatures exceeding 38 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit) aren’t caused by teething according to studies conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics. It’s important to consult a pediatrician and provide your baby with proper treatment when they experience fever, rather than simply taking it as a normal sign of teething.
Babies suffering from a fever often experience clogged and runny noses, leading to difficulties with breathing and smooth recovery. Thankfully, you can soothe your baby’s discomfort right away with a high-quality electric nasal aspirator. The Watolt Electric Baby Nasal Aspirator brings instant relief to both parents and sick babies by sucking out stubborn snot and mucus in minutes. Order yours from our online store now!