Children’s Teeth :: Timeline, Teething, & Tips for Care

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Houston Smiles Series Graphic{For more posts within this series, click the picture above.}

 

There are few things sweeter than a big toothless grin from a sweet and happy baby…but for me, my kiddos getting teeth was like opening doors to a whole new world!  We could start getting more adventurous with foods {with the pediatrician’s approval, of course}, we could pick out those precious tiny toothbrushes, and we could schedule our first trip to the dentist!

Now I’ll admit, I am not a huge fan of the dentist myself.  {No clue why, but I just don’t like people getting quite that close to my mouth.}  However, I know how wildly important dental health is to a person’s overall wellbeing, and I am bound and determined not to spread my anxieties to my own kids.  So I have made it a big priority of mine to get educated about my children’s teeth and seek out resources like our amazing series sponsors at BLVD Dentistry.

With four locations across Houston {and one in Fort Worth!}, they have offices that are easily accessible to so many of us Houston moms and online appointment requests to make scheduling a breeze.  One of my favorite things about their practice is that they cover EVERYTHING!  No need to find a dentist for you and the hubs, one for the little kids, and another for your tween who needs braces.  Nope, they do it all!  Plus, each of their locations are state of the art with all the bells and whistles – so even those with some fears and anxieties, like me, are quickly put to ease.

Over the course of the next several months, we are putting BLVD Dentistry’s knowledge and expertise to the test with some of our most pressing dental questions and concerns in a series called ‘Houston Smiles.’  And first up, where it all begins – children’s teeth!

Timeline & Eruption Schedule

As moms, we know that a baby’s schedule {be it eating, sleeping, or anything else they may do!} is certainly going to be that of their own.  And teething is no different!  Typically, you will see that first little tooth start to emerge between 4 and 7 months, but don’t be surprised if one comes through in the earlier months or even as late as their first birthday.

Once again, the order they emerge may be all over the place, but you can use this great free printable from our friends at BLVD Dentistry to see when teeth typically start to come in.  And if you’re like me and LOVE to document each and every little milestone, it is great for tracking your sweet babe’s dental development too!

Baby Teeth Chart

Click here for PDF download.

By the age of 3, your little one should have a full set of 20 teeth…until those start to fall out and their permanent teeth come in, that is!

Teething Woes & Cures

Children's Teeth 2We realize that the timeline above makes it sound like the teeth just magically appear one morning…but us moms know that teething is certainly nowhere near as easy as that!  With tooth eruption comes lots of pain and discomfort, and you might find that your once smiley and happy baby is now fussy and having a hard time when it comes to sleep.  {Can you tell I speak from experience on this one?  Yaaawn!}

As with everything else we have talked about, each baby faces different signs and symptoms when it comes to teething.  Some babies may not show any changes at all, while others may struggle with each and every symptom in the book.  However, these are a few red flags that might let you know a tooth will be making its way up soon…

  • Drooling
  • Swollen gums
  • Biting toys, objects, or maybe even you
  • Picky eating or refusing food
  • Sleep disturbances

So how do you deal with all of these issues when you look at the above timeline and can’t help but notice that there seems to be teeth constantly coming in?  Our answer – LOTS of coffee…for you, not them!  Well, that and these suggestions from BLVD Dentistry…

  • Dip a washcloth in water or breastmilk and stick it in the freezer for a bit.  Once it is nice and cold, allow baby to gnaw on it for comfort.
  • If they are refusing food or having a hard time with eating, try chilling their baby food or offering other cold food items.  {Smoothies, homemade popsicles… – depending on what they are able to eat.}
  • There are a ton of great teething toys out on the market right now.  Just be sure to make sure they are a safe option and nothing that could potentially cause more harm than good.
  • In addition to toys for babies, there are also some really neat teething necklaces for mom to wear too.  Your baby can gnaw on these while you are holding them, but once again – we encourage you to thoroughly research to ensure they are completely safe for baby.  And you certainly don’t want to make your little one think that it’s okay to pull on ALL necklaces, or they will learn to bite and pull on your fancy ones too!
  • Personally, my go to cure has always been breastfeeding.  That extra time at the breast serves as not only a comfort to their aching gums but also a comfort to their own frustrations with teething too.
  • For babies suffering from severe discomfort, you can talk to the dentist specifically about good options for you and your family.  We can’t emphasize enough that each baby is different, and the solutions for their teething will undoubtedly be too.

Tips for Dental Care

Children's Teeth 3Okay, so the teeth have begun to erupt and the teething is under control.  Now what?  Well, BLVD Dentistry recommends that all babies visit the dentist by their very first birthday to ensure that dental care gets off to a good start!  They will show you exactly which products you need, how to brush your child’s teeth effectively, and how often to do the whole drill.  But here is a brief run down until you can book your appointment…

  • To start, you will need a small, soft toothbrush and the tiniest amount of children’s toothpaste.  {Seriously, a thin smear is all you need!}  To encourage participation and enthusiasm, it’s always fun to let them pick out their favorite color or character too!
  • Help your kiddos brush their teeth twice daily, once in the morning and once right before bed.  And when we say help, you probably want to let them try so that they can start learning the manual dexterity, but then come behind and just do it for them for the first several years to ensure a good brushing.
  • Use gentle pressure to brush the bottoms, tops, insides, and outs of their teeth.  Then, finish off with a quick brush of the tongue.  {My son’s favorite part because he gets to stick his tongue out at me!}
  • Whenever the toothbrush starts to get worn or after any illnesses or fevers, be sure to replace it with a new one.  It’s always good to have a backup on hand for this very reason…or in case they decide to clean the toilet bowl with it too.

 

We know that this post only begins to scratch the surface as to all that is included in your little one’s dental health, so we can’t emphasize enough how important it is to get those sweet smiles to the dentist for routine care!  If you’re searching for one that gets our definite stamp of approval {for littles, bigs, and even YOU!}, check out our sponsors at BLVD Dentistry’s Houston area locations below…

BLVD Rice Village
281.377.1864
2402 Rice Blvd, Suite C
Houston, TX 77005

BLVD Heights
832.462.7633
107 Yale St, Suite 300
Houston, TX 77007

BLVD Oak Forest
713.812.8080
1343 W. 43rd St, Suite F
Houston, TX 77018

BLVD Galleria
832.353.2941
1801 Post Oak Blvd, Suite 1D
Houston, TX 77056


Please Note :: This entire Houston Smiles series is graciously title sponsored by BLVD Dentistry; however, all thoughts and opinions are proudly our own.

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Kelly is the founder of Houston Moms Blog and has lived in this beautiful city nearly all of her life. She has a degree in education from Texas State University and was honored to teach special education for eight years to some of the cutest little kiddos you could ever meet. While teaching, Kelly met Cody – a tall drink of water and country boy to the core – and together, they fell in love, got married, and decided to start a family. In March 2011, they welcomed Hayes into the world, a silly but smart little boy with a story you have to read to believe. And in April 2013, their family was complete with the addition of Hadley, a super gregarious and oh-so-cute baby girl. Now, Kelly devotes her days to caring for her own little ones…and would not trade this new job of hers for the world! In her not-so-spare time, Kelly loves meeting up with her girlfriends for margaritas, failing miserably at Pinterest projects, and exploring this big old city with her two favorite little side-kicks in tow.

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