So many of us hear that teething is a stage to be frightened of – sleepless nights are apparently a given. However, what’s the real truth behind the scaremongering? And what do you really need to know about babies and teeth? Here, we outline a few aspects of these early stages and unpick the myths!
- Baby Gums
It is a good idea to start cleaning your baby’s gums even before their first teeth appear. Wipe their gums gently with gauze or a soft wet washcloth. Wrap it around your index finger and rub gently along the gums. There is no need for toothpaste yet. While it is normally only once teeth come through that bacteria in the mouth can damage the gums, it isn’t always easy to spot when the teeth are starting to push through so it’s good to start early.
- Natal teeth:
These are teeth which are present when the baby is born. It’s not a common occurence; it’s found in about 1 in every 2000-3000 births. They aren’t quite like the kind of teeth we’re used to seeing as they have little root structure. Only soft tissue attaches them to the gum and because of this they are often wobbly. They will often be removed shortly after birth, especially if a baby runs the risk of ‘breathing in’ a loose tooth.
This normally occurs when a child is around six months old. However, the timing varies and can happen between birth and this point or much later – even after twelve months. Most children will have had all their milk teeth come through by two and a half years old.
If you have any other questions, please give us a call on 01603 621613 or book an appointment.