There’s nothing quite like the excitement of waiting for your child’s first tooth to erupt. But unfortunately, this excitement is also paired with a little bit of dread. After all, tooth eruption is uncomfortable and brings all of the unwanted side effects of teething, such as excessive drooling, irritability, and your child’s desire to put anything they can in their mouth. However, your pediatric dentist in Prairie Village has some good news. Teething happens in stages which can make managing your child’s teething pain a bit easier. Additionally, it’s usually all over before his third birthday.
Teething Stage 1: Milk Teeth
When babies are born, they already have a full set of baby teeth formed. They’re just waiting in the jaw bone to erupt and can’t usually be seen. During the first stage of teething, which typically occurs through birth up until 6 months of age, these teeth remain hidden under the gums. They have the nickname “milk teeth” since a baby’s main diet consists of only milk during this time.
Teething Stage 2: Incisors
As your baby grows and reaches between 6 and 10 months of age, the first set of teeth will start to pop through the gums. These first teeth are often the incisors or the front teeth on the top and bottom. However, as your pediatric dentist in Prairie Village knows, signs of teething may begin before actually seeing a tooth. Your child may become fussier than normal and try to gnaw on anything and everything he can get his hands on. To help make teething pain in this stage more bearable, encourage your baby to apply pressure to his gums by using appropriate teething tools.
Teething Stage 3: Primary Molars
Just when you think you’re over the teething battle, it’ll be time for more teeth to erupt. This time, you should expect to see the primary molars sometime between the age of 10-14 months. While some of the symptoms of teething will be similar, many babies start to drool excessively, may start to have trouble sleeping, and may even not want to eat. Relief during this stage is also similar to stage 2. Provide your baby with safe teething items, a cold washcloth, or talk with your pediatric dentist in Prairie Village about other ways to ease teething pain.
Teething Stage 4: Canines
After the primary molars, come the pointy canines between 16 and 22 months old. While these teeth can be less painful than the primary molars, your baby will still probably experience discomfort. Again, try some tried-and-true teething techniques such as:
- Hard teething rings
- Gum massages
- Bottles with cold water (avoid juices or milk to reduce the risk of decay)
- Cold washcloth to chew on
- Over-the-counter baby pain reliever if appropriate
Teething Stage 5: Large Molars
The final stage of teething is also perhaps the most difficult since it’s when the largest of the baby teeth start to erupt. Between the ages of 25-33 months, your toddler should start to see their large molars. But since these teeth are bigger, old tricks to soothe pain may not work as well. Not to mention, your child now has a full mouth of teeth, so you don’t want to necessarily pop your fingers in there to massage the gums. Talk with your pediatric dentist in Prairie Village if you can’t find relief for teething pain in this stage.
LeBlanc & Associates has pediatric dentists in Overland Park, Prairie Village, Olathe, and Kansas City to serve the entire Johnson County and Kansas City communities.