Teething and Baby Teeth: A Comprehensive Guide
Every milestone with your precious child is exciting, and seeing a new tooth in your baby’s mouth is an important one! Usually, the eruption of a new tooth is straightforward, but as the caregiver of your child, here are some tips that can help keep your baby comfortable.
Since teething can make your baby a bit irritable, cold teething rings (a toy that you put in the freezer-simple to use) can be an excellent solution. Babies find them a novelty when first introduced. While pain is not typically a symptom, a baby can easily have soreness and swollen gums just before a tooth pops through the gums.
To give you peace of mind and make sure your baby’s teething experience goes smoothly, here are a few common questions that parents usually ask about their baby’s teething.
What Age Will Teething Begin?
The general teething period for babies is within 4 to 7 months, but the timeline varies from baby to baby. When a tooth bud pops through the gumline, make sure to start cleaning the tooth! Baby teeth are so important for speech, chewing and digestion health, self-esteem and they hold space for the permanent teeth. Keep them bacteria-free!
How to best care for baby teeth is at bath time. When bathing a baby, a washcloth is used to clean eyes first and then face and it is ok to then wipe both arches of the mouth (top and bottom) and focus on wiping the tooth bud with the cloth. (Or yes, ideally use a new cloth) It is not necessary to use a toothbrush yet; a cloth is more comfortable. Then continue to wash the remainder of the baby.
It is best, just like adult teeth, to wipe the erupting tooth bud twice daily just as all people of every age should clean their teeth twice daily. You will know when to switch to a toothbrush when the washcloth does not clean the tooth well next to the gum line and between the teeth. Typically, this is when there are two teeth, and they have half-way erupted. (no longer just white bumps on the ridge)
Always buy your baby a soft-bristled toothbrush. NO toothpaste is recommended until your baby has learned to expectorate (spit). This typically is not until age 2 at the earliest or even much later. Your child will be watching you. It goes without saying, have good habits yourself, your child will copy your behavior (not what you say).
If your child “demands” using toothpaste that they see you use and you want to comply with this wish, only a smear of almost no paste should be used. They can have the taste and remember, they will be swallowing all that you put on the brush. You have the choice of using fluoride or non-fluoridated paste. There are pastes that market to parents and claim to be specially designed for babies. Talk to us; we can help with your questions. If fluoride is extracted from your water, etc. it may actually be beneficial to ingest trace amounts of topical fluoride.
Signs and Symptoms of Baby Teething
Here are a few signs and symptoms that indicate your baby is teething:
- Swollen lips or gums
- Frequent crying
- Irritability and an unsettled nature
- Red, flushed cheeks
- A slight fever (not typical)
- Mouthing and sucking toys
- Difficulty feeding or refusing food
- Disturbed sleep
Such symptoms are common and do not result in illness; however, if your baby has persistent fever or diarrhea, it may be advisable to consult your pediatrician.
Is Teething Painful for the Baby?
Some babies will not experience any pain or discomfort when teething, whereas other babies may experience discomfort. As it is an entirely new experience for the babies, the symptoms and sensations associated with it can often make them uncomfortable.
What Order Will Baby Teeth Erupt?
Baby’s teething order may also vary from one to another. However, generally, the baby’s teeth will erupt in this order:
- First teeth – Lower central incisors (bottom two teeth) will erupt at 6 to 10 months
- Second teeth – Upper central incisors (upper two teeth) will erupt at 8 to 13 months
- Third teeth – Upper lateral incisors (next to the upper central teeth) will erupt at 9 to 13 months.
- Fourth teeth - Lower lateral incisors (next to the lower central teeth) will erupt at 10 to 16 months
- First set of molars – Upper and lower back teeth will erupt at 13 to 19 months
- Canine teeth, eye teeth, or cuspid – Two teeth in the upper and lower arch will erupt laterally to the lateral incisors at 16 to 23 months.
- Second set of molars - Upper and lower back teeth will erupt at 23 to 33 months
Schedule an appointment with our dentist in Scottsdale, AZ at the first sign of a tooth erupting or by one year in age at the latest. This is the gold standard, and all academic dental professionals agree as well; this is promoted by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists.
An early first visit is a well-check, just like you will be well versed with your pediatrician baby well-checks. Further, regular well-check visits make the transition for your child into two exams and care per year MINIMUM the standard for your baby over a lifetime. There is no longer the need for any self-imposed “fear” or blatant excuses for not having proper care. The mouth is the window to the full body. Coming to the dentist regularly is preventive care; it is the easiest care, most comfortable and the least expensive!
How Can I Relieve Discomfort During Teething?
As a result of teething, your baby’s gums may become swollen, tender, and not comfortable. However, with the following remedies, you can soothe your teething baby:
- Massage your baby’s gums with your clean finger or sugar-free teething gel.
- Have your baby bite on a cold washcloth or a cold teething ring, as mentioned prior, which is a safe and effective teething toy. Make sure the cloth is clean.
- Use rubber teething rings or toys that are filled with water or have bumps.
- Feed cold foods or teething biscuits to your baby
Schedule routine care with us today, we will keep you and your baby on track for a proper and a tailored recall program specific for each person in your family’s needs, including your precious baby. We genuinely care about you and the health of your family. We are able to handle your questions, concerns, and guide you to proper and ideal oral health that will last each of you a lifetime. We are here in south Scottsdale, AZ, to receive you and help you keep optimum oral care and health.