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Authored By: Nayda Rondon
Normal Teething Sequence
Exactly when and how teething begins seems to be hereditary, does not have anything to do with the baby’s health, and tends to occur earlier in females than in males. However, if primary tooth eruption has not begun by 15 or 18 months, consult a pediatric dentist. While teething or eruption patterns vary greatly from child to child, primary teeth typically emerge in a specific sequence. The general eruption pattern is:
When a child is five or six years old, the primary teeth start falling out because the permanent (secondary) teeth are erupting underneath them, pushing them out. The eruption of permanent teeth occurs in the same approximate manner and sequence as primary teeth. By about age 14, children have 26 permanent teeth, and at about age 16, four additional teeth called wisdom teeth or third molars.
Experts disagree about whether teething actually causes symptoms — like fussiness, coughing, fever and diarrhea — or whether it is just a coincidence that these common maladies occur at the same time as teeth are erupting. While some lucky parents report no apparent negative side effects, many others maintain that their teething babies do suffer discomfort.
As a tooth erupts, a watery sac (eruption cyst) may develop. Eruption cysts are usually harmless and should be left alone. As a tooth pushes through the gum, it will eventually rupture the sac.
Alleviating Teething Symptoms
There are several ways you can bring your child relief from teething symptoms, including:
Keep in mind that although many parents use topical gels and other teething remedies, many experts question how effective and safe these products really are. Before using any kind of medication or remedy, speak with your pediatrician about specific product safety, dosage and usage issues. If you are using medication to comfort your child, double check with your pediatrician to make sure there isn't another cause for his/her symptoms, such as a viral or ear infection.
The Creator in His wisdom, gave us two sets of teeth, knowing full well that many if us would not succeed with the one set of teeth. Most people, for a number of reasons, even have varying success with the second set and have to make do with substitutes which, thanks to advanced modern technology, are increasingly successful.
In the beginning there are just gums, but, from about three to six months, teeth begin to emerge and teething continues until the “baby” teeth are through by about the age of 3 years. Some fortunate babies have no problems with this teething period, whilst others become irritable and difficult to pacify. They cry a lot, want to be held all the time and dribble constantly.
What can you do to erase this discomfort?
Warning: if your baby cries persistently, is off her feeds and is generally displaying symptoms of being unwell, you should not always assume that this is “only” teething. For example, your child may complain of earache because the pain being transferred along the nerve feels as if it is coming from the ear. However, the most likely cause is that there is an ear infection and you should consult your doctor. Also high temperatures, diarrhoea, convulsions or vomiting are not caused by teething and should be treated by your doctor.
In the next couple of issues we will cover the various common oral conditions that afflict us and the treatments that are available in a modern dental practice. If you have any topics you would like addressed, or questions answered, please correspond with us at 49 Victoria Road, Camps Bay, or phone / fax us on 021-438-1710
Dr P Brogneri
And then there were teeth…..
The first teeth to appear at about seven months are the primary incisors and these are followed by the first set of deciduous molars. By approximately two years old, all twenty of the “baby” teeth are present and tooth brushing should be part of your child’s daily routine.
The mouth has a natural bacterial flora, consisting of about five hundred different types of bacteria. Bacterial build up on teeth is termed “plaque”, and even though it looks like the remains of yesterdays’ lunch, it actually consists of saliva, normal oral bacteria and minute particles of food. All three of these have to be present for bacteria to form. Saliva and bacteria are inherent in the mouth, but food particles can be easily removed after meals by brushing or flossing. Plaque formation, and the problems caused by it, namely caries and periodontal disease, can be largely prevented by regulating the intake of various foods and practicing good oral hygiene.
Caries (tooth decay) is the most common disease in the world, and is caused by plaque that accumulates on the teeth. If plaque is not removed it absorbs calcium and hardens on the teeth forming calculus or tartar, which breaks down sugars and releases acid as a breakdown product, thus softening the tooth enamel and allowing bacteria and acids to penetrate the surface. The tartar (or calculus) cannot be removed by brushing and must be removed by your dentist using special instruments. If left untouched the plaque will continue the decay process unhindered leading to teeth that are sensitive to cold and sweet things. Untreated, the caries will penetrate deeper into the dentine causing teeth to become heat sensitive. Once bacteria penetrate the pulp (nerve) chamber, spontaneous pain will occur and there is a possibility of an abscess forming.
Rather than let your children suffer with toothache, start the habit of brushing their teeth after every meal, or at least in the morning and evening; restrict their intake of sugary or acidic foods; and introduce them to the dentist once all their “baby” teeth are through at two years old.
Dr P Brogneri
Remember the Tooth Fairy
Losing your baby teeth is a real sign that you are
When you lose a tooth, you may be so excited
The Tooth Fairy is rather shy. She is very happy
What should you do if you lose a tooth you can’t find it?
Most important of all. Don’t forget that the Tooth