If your child is beginning to get cranky lately, you might be wondering if their first tooth is coming in. This can be both an exciting and frustrating time for new parents, but we’re here to help! Here are the answers to parents’ most common questions about the teething process.
1. When do babies start teething?
You can expect your baby’s first tooth to appear around six months, though baby teeth have been known to erupt anywhere between the 3-14 month age range. Once your child’s first tooth has arrived, be sure to bring them into the dentist within the next six months to ensure their teeth are developing well. That said, some babies do not have their first tooth by their first birthday. In this case, the American Dental Association recommends that you bring them to the dentist’s office to check in on their tooth development.
2. How can I tell if my baby is teething?
Every baby is different, so unfortunately there is not always a clear-cut sign for teething. Some children may feel nothing when their baby teeth erupt, while others may exhibit signs of pain and tenderness. Some signs you can be on the lookout for are crankiness, swollen gum tissue, increased drooling, aversion to food or a bottle, difficulty sleeping, and a consistent urge to chew. Some of these symptoms can linger for several weeks depending on the child and the pace of their tooth eruption. That said, it is important to note that fever, diarrhea, and runny nose are not related to teething—contrary to popular belief—and could be indicative of another health issue.
3. How is teething pain treated?
There a few methods you can try to alleviate your child’s teething pain. For starters, you might consider over-the-counter pain relief medication specifically for infants, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. There are other topical numbing agents that you could try as well, though be sure to follow the instructions for use closely. The most common method for alleviating teething pain, however, are refrigerated teething rings. You might also apply light pressure with a clean finger directly onto the site. Otherwise, soothing methods such as gentle rocking or even a warm bath can help reduce the child’s stress.
4. How do I keep my baby’s new tooth healthy?
You can begin cleaning your child’s mouth even before their first tooth arrives. Simply use a clean, wet washcloth to wipe their gums or baby teeth. There’s no need to use toothpaste at this early age just yet—it is simply important to mechanically wipe away the bacteria from the gums and teeth. Don’t forget: be sure to bring your baby to the dentist by their first birthday. This is when your dentist will be able to give you great tips for taking care of your child’s oral health.
Ready to schedule your child’s first dental visit? Call Aurora Dental Group today to book the appointment!