Teething in children: what a young mother should know
The period when the baby’s milk teeth are erupting is at the same time exciting and difficult both for the child himself and for his parents. During this period, children are often naughty, sleep poorly, cry, and all because the appearance of the first teeth is accompanied by unpleasant sensations. Since the child himself cannot tell his parents about his problem and always reacts in the same way to any kind of discomfort, it is difficult for mom and dad to differentiate signs of teething under child behavior.
In this article, especially for young parents, we have collected as much useful information as possible about the teething of deciduous and permanent teeth in children, so that you understand what is happening and how to act in this situation to help the baby.
When and what teeth erupt in children
In fact, the rudiments of milk teeth are formed in children even during the period of embryonic development, and at the moment when they begin to grow and erupt, they are already being prepared in the child’s jaw to replace the rudiments of permanent teeth.
If we talk about the “gold standard”, then the teething scheme is as follows:
- 16-8 months – two central lower incisors.
- 2The upper central incisors also appear at about 8 months.
- 3At 8-12 months, the upper lateral incisors appear.
- 4At about the same time (10-12 months), the lower lateral incisors erupt.
- 5At 14-20 months, the first chewing teeth appear on the lower and upper jaw (one on each side – 4 in total).
- 6At 1.5-2 years, the first canines erupt in the upper and lower dentition.
- 7At the age of 2-3 years, the next chewing teeth appear.
Despite the indicated terms, each baby has its own individual order of teething. So in some babies the first teeth are shown already at 4.5 months, while in others they are “delayed” and, conversely, grow a little later than the established age. Such features depend on many factors, including gender (usually girls take the lead in teething).
Milk bite formation
The process of building a bite in humans has 5 stages, and all of them occur in childhood.
Each of the five stages is important for the final formation of the entire dentition and dental occlusion:
The first stage is from birth to 6 months (until the first teeth appear).
The second stage is the period of eruption of all milk teeth in a child (6 months – 3 years).
The third stage is the period of jaw growth, preparation for the natural change of milk teeth to permanent ones (3-6 years).
The fourth stage is the time of active growth of the jaws, eruption of permanent teeth (6-12 years).
The fifth stage is 12-15 years old, when the child has already had a change of milk teeth, all teeth are permanent.
The correct formation of a milk bite is one of the main conditions for the development of a correct permanent bite in a child.
Symptoms of teething of deciduous teeth
Each baby reacts individually to the teething of milk teeth, however, there are characteristic symptoms by which parents can understand that this is happening:
- strong salivation;
- redness and swelling of the gums;
Severe itching, and sometimes even painful sensations make the child naughty. He becomes restless, which disrupts sleep. To somehow relieve the itching, children pull toys into their mouths and intensively rub their gums with them. Often, babies refuse to eat or eat with less appetite.
However, the biggest concerns about the child’s condition are caused by coughing, runny nose, fever during teething. Indeed, the appearance of milk teeth in its symptoms can resemble colds, and it is difficult for parents who have no experience to understand whether the baby is sick or is just teething.
First of all, you need to understand that both temperature and cough during teething in children are acceptable reactions. Cough, hoarseness, runny nose are most often the result of profuse saliva. For the same reason, babies develop a rash on the chin around the mouth during teething.
Another frequently asked question from parents – what kind of stool can a child have when teething? In a particularly acute period of eruption, babies may have weakened stools, which is associated with general irritation of the nervous system and has nothing to do with eating disorders.
However, it must be borne in mind that babies, when their teeth are teething, are more susceptible to various infections than usual. If unpleasant symptoms (fever, diarrhea, cough) do not go away on their own after 2-3 days, it is necessary for the child to be examined by a doctor.
How long does teething take in children?
With normal development and growth, milk teeth erupt in a few days (2-8 days), and the most unpleasant symptoms usually appear within about 2 days.
The period of formation of a milk bite is coming to an end in 2-3 years, and at this moment the baby is the owner of 20 milk teeth.
Problems and complications with the appearance of the first teeth
Sore gums, fever, poor appetite and indigestion are unpleasant, but acceptable symptoms during the period of teething.
In some cases, children have complications:
- a long delay – it can be both a genetic feature and pathological adentia (if the child has not formed the rudiments of teeth);
- the formation of a hematoma (cyst) – in this case, the gum above the growing tooth acquires a dark purple hue, then a lump or hematoma appears in this place, which may be due to both difficult teething (the tooth cannot cope with the mucous membrane), and other reasons;
- violation of the order of eruption of teeth;
- aphthous stomatitis – a rash on the mucous membrane in the form of purulent ulcers;
- enamel hypoplasia – occurs in babies under the age of 10 months;
- malocclusion – improper closing of teeth, crowding, possible problems with the eruption of permanent teeth in the future.
If your baby has a “difficult eruption” of temporary teeth or you are faced with the listed complications, you should definitely consult a pediatrician. If the milk bite is clearly malformed, consult an orthodontist.
What to do when teething: tips for young parents
Now that you know what is happening with your child, you can draw up a rough plan of actions aimed at making it as easy as possible for the baby to get the first teeth.
Tips for moms and dads:
- Stay calm. It’s not easy for a child, and your anxiety, irritation will only negatively affect the well-being of the baby.
- Surround the baby with love and tenderness. Remember that young children feel safe and secure only in the arms of loving parents.
- Provide gum toys to help relieve itching and ease teething.
- Turn on the mode of increased antibacterial protection (frequent airing, sterilization of toys, nipples, etc.), since during this period the child can easily pick up an infection.
If your baby’s gums are bothering you a lot, you can use a teething gel. Such a remedy has a mild anesthetic effect, relieves itching and soreness. It is best to consult your pediatrician regarding the choice of gel. He will tell you which drug is suitable for your baby’s age and has a safe composition.
How to act when the temperature rises? Doctors recommend avoiding the use of antipyretic drugs, as the body fights infections by increasing the temperature. With very high hyperthermia, you should consult a pediatrician, he will recommend what drugs and in what dosage you can give your baby. Under no circumstances do not use folk remedies, medicines without first consulting a doctor!
Formation of a permanent bite
The development of permanent teeth is a long and complex process. The laying of permanent teeth begins at about 3 years old, when the baby has already fully formed a milk bite.
Preparation for their eruption is ongoing, but the changes occur gradually, so that we often do not even notice them. Meanwhile, the child:
- grow, expand the jaw;
- the distance between milk teeth increases (this is important, since permanent teeth are larger and by the time of eruption there should be enough space for them in the dentition).
Timing of eruption of permanent teeth in children
The growth sequence of permanent teeth in children is mainly hereditary. In about 50% of cases, molars (sixes) grow first. Second molars appear at the age of 7-8. The replacement of the incisors takes place at about the same time.
The first permanent tooth appears in children at the age of 6, and the complete formation of the permanent dentition of the lower and upper jaw is completed at 12-13 years of age. After that, the roots of permanent teeth still continue to form and this process ends by the age of 15.
Unlike milk teeth, permanent teeth in children erupt almost always painlessly and practically without symptoms.
In rare cases, during the teething period, the child’s well-being may worsen:
- the child gets tired quickly;
- drowsiness appears;
- gums become inflamed;
- salivation increases, a runny nose appears;
- the gum itches at the site of tooth growth, and painful sensations appear when chewing.
Problematic eruption of permanent teeth in children
Problems that can arise with the eruption of permanent (molar) teeth:
- Growth retardation – after the loss of a milk tooth, the permanent one is in no hurry to appear for 6 months or longer.
- Bite pathology. May be associated with premature teething of permanent teeth (if milk teeth have not yet fallen out), lack of space on the jaw for normal tooth growth.
- Hyperdentia – permanent teeth grow in the second row behind the milk ones. The reason is strong fixation of the temporary tooth in the socket, as a result of which the permanent tooth “chooses” a more convenient direction for growth.
- Caries and its complications.
How to help a child: recommendations of doctors Amel Dental
To cope with the discomfort caused by the eruption of permanent teeth, it is enough to massage the gums of the child. If the gums become inflamed, teething gel will help relieve the inflammation (your dentist will help you choose the right remedy).
What to do if complications develop?
- 1Bite problems in childhood are easier to fix than in adults, so if you have defects, you need to consult an orthodontist.
- 2Caries requires immediate treatment, otherwise there is a possibility that the child will lose a tooth already in childhood.
- 3In case of delayed tooth growth, an urgent need to see a doctor. Immune disorders are one of the main reasons for delayed eruption of permanent teeth in children.
How to maintain the health of primary and permanent teeth in children?
Both milk and molars of a child require careful care. The health of the future permanent teeth depends on how healthy the baby’s milk teeth were. The main concern of parents is high-quality care, timely treatment and preservation of milk teeth until the time comes for their natural replacement with permanent ones.
What do you need to do for this?
- Closely monitor the condition of the baby’s teeth, regularly take him to the dentist for examination in order to diagnose caries in time.
Prevention of caries is one of the main conditions for the health of future permanent teeth in a child. You can protect your teeth by ensuring regular high-quality oral hygiene. One of the most effective measures for the prevention of caries in children is a dental procedure for sealing the fissures of milk teeth.
- Treat caries in time.
Unfortunately, temporary teeth have a very thin enamel and not a very dense structure, therefore, if they are affected by a carious infection, they quickly collapse. With timely diagnosis, caries is treated quickly and without complications – in dentistry, milk teeth are filled with safe materials. Thanks to modern materials and technologies in dentistry, it is even possible to restore milk teeth in case of severe destruction. In some cases, if the milk tooth could not be preserved, and there is still a lot of time left before the eruption of the permanent one, prosthetics of temporary teeth is used.
- Take care of proper nutrition.
Food is an important source of useful vitamins and minerals, therefore it is important that the child’s diet is varied and balanced.
Both milk and molars of a child require careful care. The habit of brushing teeth and observing the rules of oral hygiene is formed in children from the appearance of the first teeth. It takes very little time and effort to maintain the health of children’s teeth, but all these efforts will help your child keep their teeth healthy for a long time!