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In the last article we discussed about a checklist for parents to maintain overall dental health of child. But dental health will be managed mainly after the teeth shows up in oral cavity. Usually during infancy and early childhood parents have to deal with so much as far as child’s wellbeing is concerned that somehow emergence of teeth and related symptoms tend to be missed.
Normally primary teeth also called as milk teeth start showing up anytime between 7-9 months of age. These are usually front teeth in lower jaw followed by upper jaw and this eruption of teeth will continue till the age of 3 years when full set of twenty teeth should appear in a child’s oral cavity. Initially during eruption of teeth, child may have soreness in gums and may be a bit irritable due to pressure of erupting tooth and may not take feed properly. But, the thing to understand by parents is that this is a normal physiologic response of body and parents can very well take care of the situation at home.
As the child wants to chew on something to relieve pressure you can give her any clean non sweetened rubber teething toys, rusks, cold fruits like carrots and apples. Alternatively, you can also rub ice for few seconds on the affected gum. Please make sure that you clean the gum pads and erupting tooth properly for it is definitely at risk of decay. For this, you can use a clean wet cloth to wipe after every feed. Consider this as high time to steadily wean your child off any bottle feed by 8-9 months. Encourage the use of brush on finger once a day to accustom the child to its use subsequently.
The emergence of teeth from jaw bones is as natural a process as breathing and walking. This milestone should be followed closely as it may suggest some growth deficits in child; but most importantly it should be taken in a stride and must not be stressed over and parents should not panic over the symptoms.
In some rare instances there might be some infection and that may lead to localized swelling in gums. For such cases, definitely a dentist’s opinion must be sought. I have always stressed and still maintain my stand on the basic of regular dental checkups as any abnormality can be caught as early as possible and these milk teeth are very important as they are replaced by permanent teeth and any infection may travel to bone and permanent teeth too.
This process of shedding of milk teeth and eruption of permanent teeth will again start at the age of 6 years and will continue till 12-13 years when all milk teeth will be replaced by adult teeth. It is very important to maintain good oral hygiene during these years as this is the final set of teeth humans get!!!
So don’t fret over teething and enjoy this phase of parenting!