Guide to your baby's teeth
It's a big deal when a baby gets its first teeth, but teething often causes some complications in connection with appetite, lack of sleep and the pain that baby teeth bring. In addition, there are also new things to decide on, such as choice of toothbrush, toothpaste, dentist and eating habits.
There are a lot of things that you suddenly have to take into account, and maybe you haven't thought of them all, which is perfectly okay.
That's what this guide should help with. In this guide, we have collected the answers to a lot of questions that may arise with the first baby teeth. When do babies get teeth? How long does it hurt? And do you really have to give them painkillers like Panodil?
When does baby get teeth?
Most babies will start getting baby teeth when they are around 6 months old. However, there are some who will already start teething when they are about 2 months old, and some will only get baby teeth when they are 12 months old or maybe over. When your baby starts teething doesn't matter. By the time babies are 20-30 months old, most will have their last baby teeth.
As soon as the tip of the first tooth appears, you should start brushing the baby's teeth. Oral hygiene and toothbrushing habits are important throughout life, and it is therefore important to start early on. Tooth brushing should even preferably start before the first tooth is out. You can start by giving your baby a baby toothbrush to hold and stick in their mouth when they are on the changing table.
When the baby gets the first tooth, the toothbrush will already be familiar, and it will be easier to brush the baby's tooth/teeth. Babies can be difficult to brush their teeth. If the baby is not familiar with brushing their teeth, they may grumble or make it difficult in other ways, e.g. by biting together.
How to take care of baby teeth?
It is important to take care of the baby teeth, even though they are replaced from around the age of 5 until the child is 13. Baby teeth are important for babies' ability to chew and speak. They are also important because they hold the space for the adult teeth and thus help to adapt the development of the jaw.
When you start brushing the baby's teeth, you must use a toothbrush that has a small soft brush head with a good grip that the baby can hold on to. Toothpaste should be used in small amounts. A rule of thumb is to use as much as will fit on baby's little finger nail. It is recommended that the toothpaste contains fluoride, as it prevents cavities. The dental care actually also recommends that you use adult toothpaste.
Just like adults, baby teeth need to be brushed on all surfaces. The gum line must also be brushed, so that you get to brush between the teeth as well.
Just like adult teeth, baby teeth need to be brushed twice a day, and you can therefore brush your baby's teeth in conjunction with brushing your own. When you brush your baby's teeth, you can turn them towards a mirror so they can watch. You can also let the baby sit and play with his own toothbrush when you brush your teeth. In this way, you slowly help your child in the development to be able to brush his own teeth. However, it will be several years before they can completely do it themselves.
Order of baby teeth
It is usually the two front teeth in the lower mouth that come first. After this, the two teeth in the upper mouth will appear.
The baby teeth will then erupt from the center outwards, so the molars are the last. When the first tooth has broken through, the rest of the 8 front teeth will often appear within 6 months. This means that many babies will have all 8 front teeth by their 1st birthday.
If your baby's teeth don't come in that order, it doesn't matter. There is no such thing as wrong order. Some babies get the two front teeth in the upper mouth first. Some babies may get canines first. It doesn't matter at all. Your baby will most likely end up with 20 teeth – 10 in the upper mouth and 10 in the lower mouth.
Your child's first dental visit
When baby has got all his baby teeth, they will have their first dental visit. This often happens by the dental care contacting the family when your child is around 1-2 years old. Here, as parents, you get good advice on how to best take care of your teeth.
All babies must have had a dental visit when they are 3 years old, where they must be examined by the dentist. The visits to the dentist in the first years are very important for how the child will feel about visits to the dentist in the future.
If you yourself are afraid of visiting the dentist, it is best to let the other parent or another adult go with you, so that you do not transfer your fear to your child. It is also not wise to promise your child a reward if they do well. This can cause the child to believe that going to the dentist can be dangerous. The best thing is actually just not to make a big deal out of it.
Pain during teething
When your baby starts teething, it will inevitably hurt. Baby becomes fussier and cries more often. So how long does it last? It actually only hurts the baby when the tooth has broken through the gums. It hurts the most just when the tooth is about to break through. When the tooth has broken through, there will probably be 3-4 days of discomfort because the gum is sore.
Babies will often start to be irritable a few days up to teething. There are various signs that a tooth may be on its way. They are e.g. if baby has red, flushed cheeks, more drooling and red bottom.
They also chew on anything to relieve the itching in their mouth, which makes them more irritable. You can also see directly on the gums that they are swollen. The irritation in the mouth can lead to the child sleeping poorly and having a poor appetite. In some situations, they can also have loose stools. Often you will only know that it is due to the tooth when it erupts in the mouth.
Teething does not in itself make the child sick, and therefore you still need to be aware if the baby gets, for example, fever. In such cases, you should contact your doctor.
Baby's sleep with new teeth
The new baby teeth starting to come in are a big upheaval for your baby. It hurts, as I said, and the teeth itch and irritate. This naturally affects both the daytime hours, but most of all the nighttime hours, when there is nothing else to occupy the baby.
For some, this will result in long awake nights for both you and baby. This is completely normal, but of course it can be annoying if you have just mastered the sleep routine.
Many get through baby teething without major problems, but those who have to experience heartbreaking crying all night need not feel completely helpless.
As with anything else, it can be managed with the right amount of care, love and patience. It is important to show your child that it is okay, even if it hurts. It is just as important to show care as it is to find the right solutions for the pain in the teeth.
Can I give baby Panodil?
It is only natural that you want to do everything so that your baby is not in pain. The sleepless nights also take a toll on mum and dad. Therefore, it may well be that you get the idea of resorting to Panodil and other painkillers. However, this is rarely recommended, as it is difficult to find the right amount, and therefore it can be hard on the liver and affect the development of the liver in excessive amounts.
Local anesthetic ointments are also rarely recommended, as the baby has a larger amount of saliva in the mouth than usual due to the new baby teeth and will therefore swallow the ointment.
Alternative to Panodil
If the child is very affected, you can contact the doctor and hear what they recommend and whether Panodil could be a solution. Before doing that, however, there are a lot of things you can try that more often than not will relieve the pain.
The solution that is written about the most is a teething ring. Teething rings are available in many different shapes and variants. You can get teething rings with fabric on the edge, teething rings that are hard and teething rings that are soft. Many teethers are also a mixture of a toy and a teether. The most important thing is that you find a teether that your child's little hands can hold and put in their mouth. It can also work well if you put the teether in the fridge before giving it to baby.
Cold cucumber sticks also work fine. You can cut them, refrigerate them and give them to your baby when needed. They are easy for a baby to hold and there is nothing that your baby can harm from the cucumber when it is taken in the mouth.
Rubber massage can also be soothing for baby. You do this by gently letting your finger slide along the gums.
It is better for the baby's teeth to use the right pacifier instead of the baby sucking on e.g. the thumb. When looking for the right pacifier, make sure it's short, soft and has a valve. However, be aware that children from around 18 months should only use a pacifier to fall asleep, as it can otherwise start to affect speech abilities. Children over 36 months should not use a pacifier at all, as it can change the jaw and the position of the teeth on the permanent teeth.
Baby teeth and appetite
As mentioned earlier, care is important during the period of teething. Babies will also often seek the breast themselves more because it is the safest place they know. It is perfectly okay, but at the same time you must not let breast milk be the only food the child receives. It is therefore about finding a balance between the care and nutrition that the child needs.
When the new baby teeth find their place, the baby's mouth will be sore and irritated. This may mean that some babies will experience a decreased appetite. This applies especially to solid food, as it can be uncomfortable for the gums, which are already very uncomfortable.
If your baby suffers from a reduced appetite, it may be difficult to get food in. Therefore, it can be smart to make a lot of small meals instead of a few large ones. Then you will be able to get more food in overall.
Find the life dishes
You can also go for giving the child what you know they like, because then they will be more inclined to eat. Just remember to also give something new along with the usual, so that the child's diet is varied. If it is completely impossible to get the baby to eat, it will work. Baby is not harmed by not eating for a few days, as long as the baby gets something to drink. If the tooth hurts a lot or the mouth is very sore, it might be a good idea to give your baby some mush. Cold baby mush also helps soothe irritated gums. If you have gotten used to eating solid food, you can resort to softer foods such as scrambled eggs or bananas.
It is important that you do not 'force' eating by giving the child sweets such as honey. This also applies to pacifiers and teethers - they must not be dipped in sweets. This can cause cavities in the baby's teeth. Honey should generally never be given to a baby under 12 months. It should also be mentioned here that breast milk is sweet. If you therefore breastfeed very often, it can actually lead to cavities.
When your baby is approx. 6 months you can switch to using a feeding bottle. You may only fill a feeding bottle with breast milk or water, as juice or drinking yoghurt can cause holes in the baby's teeth.
With small children, you should avoid giving them hard foods such as carrots. It is far too hard for them to chew, and it could happen that they would try to swallow too large pieces, which then end up in their throats. Instead, try colorful foods such as peppers and cucumbers.