BABY’S FIRST TEETH: 7 FACTS PARENT SHOULD KNOW

Teething can be a cause of sleepless nights for babies and parents as well. At the same time, it brings a smile on a parent’s face to see your baby’s first tooth. It is oneof the important milestones in the baby’s growth and development cycle. It is a natural process by which the baby’s first tooth erupts through the gums. Babies are born with all the primary teeth below their gum line which generally starts to come out gradually between 6 to 12 months of age. Some children erupt one tooth at a time, while others have tooth that come in pair. Teething is a difficult period for your baby as your child will experience some discomforts. Irritability, disrupted sleep, swelling or inflammation of gums, drooling, loss of appetite, rash around mouth, mild temperature, increased biting and gum rubbing are few signs the baby is teething. These symptoms were reported by 70-80 percent of parents according to an article from the British Dental Journal. There are certain facts about teething every parent should be aware of.

7 Facts About Teething

When teething starts: Every child has their own pace of growth. In some very rare cases babies are born with their first tooth, some experience teething early in around 4 months while few baby’s first tooth comes in around 14 months. Mostly babies start teething at around 6 months. In most of the cases lower front teeth are first to appear followed by upper front teeth. By the age of three most of the kids develop an entire set of primary teeth.

Teething Pain: Teething pain can make your child irritated and fussy. You can minimise the pain by rubbing or massaging their gum gently with clean finger or with cool spoon or you can offer a teether.

Does teething cause Diarrhea? Many parents connect teething with diarrhea. However, there is no such evidence that can justify that teething and diarrhea are connected. Teething usually starts around 6 months of age. This is the time when mothers begin solids to babies. Babies sensitive digestive system may cause diarrhea due to this change in diet. Also, the chances of bacteria entering the mouth are extremely high during this phase of putting everything in the mouth due to gum irritation, which may also lead to diarrhea.

Does teething cause fever? Teething may raise the body temperature slightly, but high fever over 101 degree Celsius is not due to teething. Check for other causes of illness or consult your doctor for high fever.

Fluoride: Fluoride is essential in protecting your kid’s new teeth from the formation of any cavities and helps in strengthening the enamel. Thankfully fluoride is present in drinking water. During teething, make your child drink some water after regular intervals.

Brushing: As soon as your baby’s first tooth erupts, you need to start taking care of it. Gently brush their milk teeth using water with soft bristled children’s toothbrush. By age of 3 you can start using a small amount of fluoride toothpaste for your baby or as recommended by dentist. (Why is it important to brush in the night?)

Visit to Dentist: The Indian dental association suggests that a child should visit the dentist within 6 months from the eruption of the baby’s first tooth or upon their first birthday, that means if the child does not have a tooth by the age of one, their parents should discuss tooth development with their pediatric dentist.

Key Vitamins and Minerals for Dental Health

Diet plays a significant role in teeth development in babies and toddlers. What your child eats affects their teeth. Too much carbohydrates, sugar and starch can cause tooth decay. As a parent it is your responsibility to encourage your child to make healthy food choices.

Calcium: Calcium is the key building block for teeth and bones. It helps to harden your enamel and help teeth fight off erosion and cavities. Dairy products including milk, yogurt and cheese are good source of calcium, but always try less sugar or no sugar varieties as sugar can promote tooth decay. (What are some calcium rich foods?)

Vitamin D: Vitamin D is very important for your dental heath as it allows your body to absorb calcium. It plays a key promoting dental health and helping prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Deficiency of vitamin D can make kids teeth prone to decay. By spending about 15 to 20 minutes in sunlight each day can meet your daily requirement of vitamin D. You can also consume foods such as fortified milk, egg, fish that are rich in vitamin D. (How to absorb more calcium and Vitamin D in the body?)

Phosphorus: Like calcium and vitamin D, Phosphorus is also a key mineral for strong teeth. 85% of your body’s phosphorus content lies in your teeth and bones. Phosphorus also helps your body to absorb calcium, which aids in building strong bones, teeth and rebuilding tooth enamel. Daily need of phosphorus can be achieved by consuming foods such as pumpkin seeds, whole grains, soybean, fish and egg.

Vitamin A: Not only for eye sight, vitamin A is equally important for your dental health. Vitamin A helps your salivary glands to keep active which aids to prevent tooth decay. It also promotes saliva production in your mouth which is crucial for cleaning away bacteria and food particles between teeth and gums. Food rich in vitamin A are sweet potato, carrot, yellow fruits like mango, papaya, apricot, eggs, and cheese. (How to cook a vitamin A food to extract more vitamin?)

Vitamin C: Vitamin C is required for both teeth and gum health. Vitamin C helps keep the connective tissues in your gums healthy and strong, which hold your teeth in place. By consuming any of the citrus fruits like oranges, grapes, guava, kiwi, and lemon you can meet daily requirement of vitamin C. (What is the easiest way to meet Vitamin C requirement for the day?)

Recipe for Leftover Rice and Dal (lentil) Pizza

Mix leftover rice and lentils with wholewheat flour, salt, 1 tsp yeast, oregano, water into a soft sticky dough. Cover with a dry cloth and a loose lid. Leave to rise for 2-3 hours in a dark space.
Roll a base. Add pizza sauce, veggies of choice, greens, cheese, sprinkle little salt.
Preheat oven for 5 min at 220 celsius. Bake for 10-12 minutes in middle rack.

Kids love to eat this without even noticing the nutrition in the dough.

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