These days am happily lending out my toes and fingers to my 8 month old to chew on. He is currently undergoing the teething phase. Tiny little white gems are soon going to appear in his baby mouth and from then on there will be no looking back.
I reached out to a dentist in the family Dr. Mariya to get answers for my queries related to the teething phase of my baby. She obliged by doing an article on what to expect and be prepared for as moms because this is a real important stage in the child’s growth phase and at times it can be very difficult too.
Read Dr. Mariya’s advice, on how you can support your baby and help him/her sail through this stage smoothly, in a safe manner. She also highlights how Nursing Carries is a common problem these days and tips to avoid it!
Teething is often described as a very discomforting traumatic phase for a child but indeed it’s a very beautiful phase if taken care of properly. The eruption of the teeth varies from child to child but on an average should be between 6-36 months. The first ones to erupt are the lower incisors (6-10 months) then the upper two incisors (9-13) the first molars then follow then canines and last to erupt are the second molars (13-20 ) months .
Signs of Teething
Drooling of saliva
Constant urge to eat or chew something
Sucking of fingers
Irritability on the gum pads
(occasionally red spots can appear too on the gum pads)
How to relieve pain of a teething baby
⇒ The best relief that can be provided to children during this phase is by taking a cold gauze piece and rubbing over the gums gently massaging it.
⇒ Frozen teethers work wonders too as cold acts as a vasoconstrictor and provides a soothing effect to the irritable and inflamed gums.
⇒ Frozen pieces of boiled veggies like beetroot and carrots can be given too.
Taking Care of Baby Teeth
Once the child teeth’s, the small cute teeth should be brushed with a finger brush on a regular basis to avoid stagnation of food and hence lessen plaque accumulation. All in all proper massaging technique and use of frozen teethers can give a lot of relief to a child during teething.
Myths of Teething
Fever diarrhoea loose motions vomiting are no where related to teething. They are old myths which don’t hold true. Rubbing honey over gums should be strictly avoided as they simply increase risk of caries and do no good.
Nursing caries is a unique pattern of dental caries in very young children due to prolonged and improper feeding habits. Even as the first primary tooth starts erupting, the oral environment can be conducive to the initiation of demineralization. Ferment-able carbohydrates are the main source of nutrition to infants and hence the main culprit for nursing bottle caries.
All types of milk; mother’s, formula or animal are main triggers of nursing caries because of their lactose contents. Fruit juices and other sweet liquids, chocolates, pacifiers dipped in honey or any other sugar solutions are to be blamed too! TIME also plays an important role as more the time the child sleeps with the bottle in his mouth higher is the risk of caries; this is due to the fact that bacteria get more time to start their action of demineralization due to accumulation of food in the oral cavity leading to production of acids and hence caries!!!!!
The most commonly affected teeth are the upper incisors, molars and in the more severe form also affect the lower teeth. The rampant form of caries has to be taken proper care of with the milk teeth itself. Once affected the permanent teeth too have chances of getting caries. The child with caries is susceptible to other health hazards and treating nursing caries is also a financial problem to many.
WAYS TO PREVENT NURSING CARIES
Clean the gum pads regularly.
Lay the baby down with his head in your lap, take small gauze between your thumb and forefinger and press down on the gum pads, and rub gently. Repeat that at least twice a day.
Once the teeth erupt you can switch to finger brushes easily available nowadays.
Strictly avoid frequent use of bottle feeding
DO NOT put the child to bed with the bottle or at the breast remove as soon as the child falls asleep
Avoid use of sweet medications
Visit to the dentist is advisable at 6 months of age
Pacifiers should be avoided
Breast feed the baby but do not indulge at will.
Dr.Mariya Kothawala is a dental surgeon (BDS). She has done various certificate courses in rotary endodontics, implants & aesthetic dentistry and has been a part of many dental camps to spread awareness about dental hygiene and the ill effects of tobacco. She was fortunate enough to work under the able guidance of Dr. Dr.Poonam Hudiya.