Primary teeth are an essential step in your child’s maturation. But they can also be painful.
Your child’s primary or baby teeth coming in is an important milestone in their development. But at the same time, it can cause you and your little one a lot of pain.
As a parent, you want to ease their discomfort. Fortunately, there are a few tried-and-true ways to do that, which we will share below!
A guide to primary molars
The first baby teeth to break through are the bottom two front teeth. The last to come in are the eight primary molars: Two on each side of the mouth on the bottom and top.
The first primary molars typically grow when your child is between the ages of 13 to 19 months. Don’t be alarmed if the molars erupt before or after that time. In some families, molars develop late. If you’re concerned, talk to a pediatric dentist who can determine if there are any problems.
Even though primary molars aren’t permanent, they are important in your child’s oral development. With them, your child is able to chew food. These baby teeth also act as placeholders for permanent teeth, shaping your child’s face and allowing them to learn to speak clearly.
Easing the pain of primary molars
While you may be delighted to see your child’s teeth appear, your child is probably less than thrilled. In fact, you may have one cranky kid on your hands! Yet there are definite signs the emerging molars are giving your child problems, such as irritability, excessive drooling, and trouble sleeping. You may also notice a reddish area around the molars.
Further, your child may chew on toys or clothing to ease the pain. A low-grade fever of 99 degrees could indicate painful tooth eruption, too.
Every child’s pain tolerance is different. To help your child through this challenging time, you can try these tips:
Switch their diet. Instead of solid foods, give them liquid foods until the eruption passes. Foods that are either frozen or cold can also help with the pain. Let them chew on a cold carrot stick. They’ll get the nutrition of the vegetable as the cold reduces the discomfort.
Have them drink ice water. Ice water can desensitize the gums around the molars. But test it first! Some children may find the icy water too much to handle.
Give them a teething ring. The mere act of chewing on a teething ring can ease the pain.
Distract them. If your child is cranky due to the pain, distract them with fun games or other activities. It may help them forget their sore mouth.
Schedule an appointment with your dentist at the first primary tooth appearance or by their first birthday. Just because the baby teeth may soon fall out doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take care of them. Primary teeth that become decayed can impact the permanent teeth coming in next.
Start your child on the road to good oral care early. As soon as the first baby tooth emerges, brush it with a soft-bristled toothbrush made for kids. As they get older, teach them how to brush their teeth on their own and what foods to avoid to prevent cavities. But most importantly, get them used to going to the dentist. As they become more accustomed to dental visits, they’ll learn the dentist is there to help them.
Time for your child’s first checkup
Schedule an appointment at Espire’s Colorado Springs location today! Our highly trained dentists can examine your child’s teeth and start them on the path to good dental health. Don’t live near our Colorado Springs office? Find one of our other locations near you.