Dentistry for Kids
It is common knowledge that teething can be an excruciating process for both the baby and the parent. However, it does not have to be! At Swansboro Family Dentistry, we believe that the first step towards relief begins with understanding exactly what your little one’s body is going through during these five distinct stages of teething:
Stage One: birth to six months
The first teething stage is the longest but the least painful for the baby. This means that at this point, you can relax and enjoy watching your little one’s chubby cheeks fill out with their new pearly whites! However, it is essential to note that while they are not yet fully erupted through the gums (this will take place between four-six months), there may be some discomfort due to hiccups or acid reflux which could bring on slight irritability. A cold rag wrapped around an ice cube placed inside a washcloth makes for a great comfort toy during these stressful times - do not let them chew directly on hardwood floors as their teeth are susceptible at this point!
Stage Two: six to twelve months
Now the fun begins! Here, you will see your little one’s pearly whites begin to emerge from underneath their gums. This process may take a few weeks or even up until a couple of months - but it is important not to be alarmed if they are still teething at this stage with no teeth in sight. As a parent, some pain relieving activities can be done during this period, such as giving them ice cubes or frozen fruit for an added treat and letting them gnaw on toys made just for babies who have recently started teething.
Stage three: 10-18 months
Stage three is crucial in teething as this marks when most children have all four milk teeth. However, it is not uncommon for some to appear much earlier - do not be alarmed if your child has lost their first tooth and acquired another one already! It could just mean that they are growing at an accelerated rate compared to others. Otherwise, you can expect these stages to follow what was presented during Stage Two.
Stage Four: 18 months-two years
This fourth stage happens around two years old or even later due to individual growth rates beginning right after birth up until age six, which means there will always be differences between each child’s experience while going through teething. During this stage, the canines and incisors will start to erupt, which is usually when parents begin to see more discomfort in their child, such as drooling, biting, fussiness, etc. It is important to provide them with a variety of soft foods as they are growing out of their baby food and offer plenty of fluids (water & milk) as dehydration is a common side effect.
Stage Five: two years +
The final stage of teething usually coincides with a child’s two-year checkup. If all their teeth have not come in by this point, don’t worry! It is not unusual for the molars to take longer than other teeth to erupt, as they tend to appear anywhere between two and four years old. As always, continue providing them with soft foods, plenty of fluids (avoiding sugary drinks), and give them something to chew on that will help soothe their gums.
Teething can be quite a harrowing experience. However, it does not have to be! At Swansboro Family Dentistry, we believe that the first step towards relief begins with understanding exactly what your little one’s body is going through during these five distinct stages of teething. If you have any questions, please reach out to us at 910-421-3022, and we would be more than happy to help.