Teeth and Gums 

  • Children normally start teething around six months, although some babies may start a little later on. Lower middle teeth are typically the first ones to erupt and the last teeth to appear are back molars. By 3 years your child should have all their 20 milk teeth.

  • There are several things you can do to help your baby cope with teething: 

    Extra cuddles and TLC are the best place to start.

    Giving them a chilled (but not frozen hard) teething ring to chew on may help to soothe.

    There are sugar free infant teething gels you can use to reduce the pain and some contain a local anaesthetic. Alternatively, you could try infant liquid paracetamol – but as always, read the label thoroughly first to check its right for your child.

    If your baby is dribbling a lot they can get very sore around the mouth and chin and this just makes them even more uncomfortable. You can apply petroleum jelly or aqueous cream around the mouth and chin and don’t forget to wipe their mouth regularly.

    Never rub alcohol on your baby’s gums or place an aspirin against the tooth or gum. 

  • You should start cleaning your child's teeth as soon as they come through the gums. There are toothbrushes designed for babies, as it is important to try and make tooth brushing a regular activity, twice a day so that it becomes part of your child's daily routine. 

    When your child gets older you can teach them how to brush their own teeth.

  • Your child will grow 20 milk teeth in total (they’ll get 32 adult teeth later when their mouths have grown big enough). Both sets are made up of three different types of teeth designed to make short work of the different kinds of food we eat.

  • Some children find thumb sucking comforting and of course there can be times when they need to self-comfort. Thumb sucking can put pressure on their teeth and start pushing them forward and that could mean they’ll have to wear a brace for a period of time, or even have teeth removed. So, if possible, it’s best to avoid thumb sucking. But as many parents know it’s a tough habit to break.

     

    If your child sucks their thumb and it is something you’re keen to stop, talk with them about how they feel about thumb sucking and work out a plan together for how they can stop. It’s more than likely they’ll know that they should try to stop. After that, point out whenever their thumb goes back into their mouth, as very often they don’t realise they’re doing it.

  • Teeth are made up of three main parts. On the outside is a protective layer of enamel - the hardest substance in the body. Below that is a bone-like substance called dentine, which makes up the largest part of the tooth. Underneath the dentine, the tooth actually has a soft centre . This is called the pulp, and it houses all of the tooth’s blood vessels and nerve endings. 

    Tooth decay starts with the enamel, which has no feeling. But once it reaches the dentine, it can start to cause toothache . If decay ever spreads as far as the pulp, it can be incredibly painful. 

    But correct brushing twice a day with a fluoride containing toothpaste and regular dentist visits, you’ll be able to help stop decay before it causes any pain or discomfort.

  • Your child will grow 20 milk teeth in total (they’ll get 32 adult teeth later when their mouths have grown big enough). Both sets are made up of three different types of teeth designed to make short work of the different kinds of food we eat. 

     

    Incisors – these are the flat front teeth. They’re made for biting into food. 

    Canines – the pointy teeth, which are perfect for tearing food apart. 

    Molars – these blunter, broader teeth at the side of your mouth crush and grind food into small pieces.

  • Permanent teeth will have been growing in the gums for some time, but it’s only when your child gets to about six that the first big tooth will start to travel through the gum. As it does so, and this is the amazing part, it dissolves the root of the milk tooth, making it wobbly. Because the big tooth keeps growing, it pushes the little tooth out completely to make room for itself.