Having your baby start teething can be both exciting and burdensome. Many babies are a bit miserable when their first teeth start popping through the gums. And many parents, though they know teething is a natural and necessary process, suddenly find themselves with a lot of questions they never knew they had. Here's a look at some questions parents often have when their babies start teething -- along with their answers.
How can you make your teething baby more comfortable at night?
When teething, many babies seem relatively comfortable in the daytime, but begin crying and showing signs of pain at night. This may be just because there is less going on to distract them from the discomfort. To help ease your baby's pain at night, try applying an over-the-counter teething gel to his or her gums just before you put him or her down to sleep. You can also provide a bottle of cool water to sip just minutes before bedtime. This will help reduce the inflammation in the gums, easing the pain. If your baby wakes up during the night, repeat these two steps. Give the water first, and then apply the gel.
When does your baby need to see the dentist?
Basically, the sooner you have a dentist look at your baby's teeth, the better! This ensures that any issues are detected promptly. The ADA recommends that babies see the dentist for the first time by their first birthday. Your baby should have many of his or her teeth at this time.
Are there any big problems you should watch out for as your baby's teeth come in?
The teeth that are emerging right now are your baby's deciduous teeth, so if they are not perfectly aligned and they come in a little crooked, there's no reason to worry. The only big problems you really need to watch out for is if the teeth come in with a gray or bluish tint. This could indicate that your child has a liver condition or poor tooth enamel formation. Then again, you may just be seeing tooth staining that's a normal side effect of you taking certain antibiotics during pregnancy. It's best to have your dentist take a look to figure out the cause of the discoloration.
Teething is a necessary evil in your baby's first year of life. If you have any additional concerns, reach out to a pediatric dentist in your area, like those at Pedodontic Associates Inc.