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Teething and Your Child: What You Need to Know

Kid Holding Toothbrush
Teething can be one of the most difficult times in a young baby's first year of life, and the process continues into the toddler stage until all of the molars finally emerge. While the individual teething experience varies greatly among children, many parents and doctors alike report that certain teeth seem to cause more symptoms of discomfort than others do.

Knowing which teeth seem to cause more fussiness or crying can help you prepare for your child's transition to having a beautiful smile. However, keep in mind that your child may respond more to the eruption of other teeth or may not have much of a reaction at all to the teething process.

First to Emerge

In general, doctors and parents alike agree that the worst symptoms of discomfort happen with the first teeth to emerge. This tends to be a front tooth, often on the top, but may be an eyetooth instead.

Many researchers and doctors think that the first teeth are not actually more painful to the child, but the child's unfamiliarity with the sensation is actually what causes an increased response. Imagine that a six-month-old baby is likely confused and possibly even scared by the new sensations in their mouth as teeth begin to emerge for the very first time.

Largest Teeth

Molars are some of the last teeth to erupt in toddlers, and molars tend to trigger more intense secondary symptoms like mild fevers, increased crying, or trouble sleeping. Since the child developing their first molars is still likely too young to talk, telling if they are truly in pain or simply struggle with the secondary teething symptoms is not always easy.

Multiple Eruptions

Many parents and doctors also report that children who have more than one tooth that come in at once also tend to show more signs of distress and discomfort. This is very common, with some children having five or six teeth all in various stages of eruption at the same time.

You cannot space out the arrival of teeth, but you may want to schedule a dentist's visit to make sure all of the emerging teeth can fit together well. Babies and toddlers with multiple tooth eruptions may need some extra attention and teething products to help them get through the challenge.

General Pain Levels

To know exactly why a teething baby cries can be hard. Pain or discomfort is just one possible cause, along with general confusion, frustration, stressful new sensations, or simple fatigue due to the hard work of growing in a set of teeth.

Scientific studies do show that babies and toddlers experience far less actual discomfort than their parents assume or their outward behavior demonstrates. Even if your teething child cries or has a hard time eating, they probably do not experience as much pain as you might think.

Serious Discomfort Treatments

Teething children who cannot sleep through the night and who seem uncomfortable through the day may need a cool, soft, and safe chewing toy to massage their gums. Additionally, the gum massage with a cool damp washcloth remains one of the most widely recommended ways to comfort a child who seems to struggle with teething.

Avoid topical numbing gums since many babies fuss just as much from that as from any potential teething discomfort.

Seeing the dentist during teething can help you feel at ease and rest assured that your child is having a normal teething experience. Call us today here at Kids of Oz Dental to schedule an appointment. We also encourage you to contact us with any questions or concerns you have about your child's teeth.