When your child’s very first teeth come in, it can be exciting and stressful all at once for both you and your child. Is your little one’s teething pain normal? Should you be concerned if the tooth doesn’t appear as quickly as you expected? How do you know what’s normal and what needs to be seen by your dentist?
Though the first few teeth can be frightening, you don’t have to worry. We’ve seen it all when it comes to teething and tooth eruption, so we can help answer your questions about your child’s first teeth.
Here are some common teething issues and information about pediatric tooth eruption so you can rest easier as your child’s first teeth make their appearance.
Primary Tooth Eruption
Parents are often anxious about the arrival of primary teeth. If you’re worried about the timing of these first teeth, you can take a deep breath. Although it can vary a little among infants, the first primary teeth erupt sometime around 6 months of age on average, though they can come in earlier or later than that.
They often arrive in pairs, preceded by some level of discomfort for your child. This discomfort is known as teething, and for some children, it can be a stressful experience. Fortunately, for most children, teething is a minor inconvenience that has infrequent symptoms.
Signs Of Teething In Infants
Anxious parents often wonder whether a crying, inconsolable child might be teething. Truthfully, teething probably worries the parents more than the child, but some common signs of teething might help you know if your child is experiencing the condition.
- Excessive drooling is often a sign of teething.
- Daytime irritability and restlessness may be a sign of teething.
- Excessive chewing or biting of fingers and thumbs can be a sign that your baby is teething.
Additionally, the discomfort of teething may cause your baby to have a reduced appetite. However, if your child seems particularly unwell or runs a fever, it isn’t necessarily related to teething, and you may want to consult your pediatrician.
Problems With Primary Teeth
Most of the time, children get their first teeth on schedule without any problems. Occasionally, there may be problems with one or more teeth when they erupt from beneath the gums, but primary teeth arrive without much fanfare for the most part.
It might seem strange to think of newborns as actually having teeth, but they’re born with these primary teeth, only they’re still beneath your baby’s gums. Very rarely, a baby may be born with a tooth or have one erupt very soon after birth. These teeth are called neonatal teeth and may or may not cause problems for your child.
Neonatal teeth may be regular teeth that erupt early, or they could be extra teeth that aren’t needed. Your dentist may decide to extract these early teeth if they’re loose (which could pose a choking hazard to your baby) or if they impede feeding in some way.
Problems With Secondary Or Permanent Teeth
Almost as exciting as seeing your child’s first tooth is losing their first primary tooth. These ‘baby’ teeth fall out when the permanent set of teeth erupt. While the arrival of these teeth is often painless and trouble-free, some problems occur with the appearance of permanent teeth.
A Permanent Tooth That Doesn’t Erupt
If your child loses a baby tooth but fails to have a secondary or permanent one show up to replace it, it could be genuinely missing, having never formed at all. A missing permanent tooth isn’t too common, though, so it’s a good idea to bring your child to the dentist for an x-ray to make sure the missing tooth is not simply delayed in erupting.
Sometimes, baby teeth don’t fall out before a permanent tooth tries to erupt. When the new tooth comes in, both teeth will crowd into the same spot. Or the second tooth could come in at an awkward angle. Crowding can negatively impact the placement of all the other teeth, so your child’s dentist will likely remove the baby tooth to make room for the permanent one to come in without any issues.
Sometimes, permanent teeth grow in but don’t appear in the correct position. It can happen even if there are no baby teeth in the way. This type of misplaced growth is called an ectopic eruption.
Luckily, most cases of ectopic eruption correct themselves as other teeth come in. If you’re worried about your child’s permanent teeth and their placement, your dentist can take a look and suggest an appropriate plan of action.
Let Us Ease Your Pediatric Dental Worries
Most of the time, teething and pediatric tooth eruptions happen without much fuss. But if you’re worried about your child’s teeth, or if you just want reassurance that everything is progressing healthily, contact us to schedule a checkup.
At Chillicothe Pediatric Dentistry, we understand parents’ concerns. Your children are our most important customers, and we want to help you keep your child’s smile healthy and bright.
From preventive dental care to restorative treatments, let us ease your pediatric dental worries and give your child something to smile about.