Baby teething starts around 6 months and lasts until a child reaches about 3 years of age when all of their 20 baby teeth typically have come in. The two bottom front teeth (lower central incisors) are usually the first to appear, followed by the two top front teeth (upper central incisors).
As baby teeth begin to appear, it’s normal for babies to become irritable, have trouble sleeping, lose their appetite and experience more drooling than usual. Their gums may be sore and they will probably want to chew on solid objects.
Symptoms that normally do not accompany baby teeth include: diarrhea, rashes and fever. Call your pediatrician if any of these symptoms are present.
Some things you can do to relieve symptoms of teething:
Gently rub your baby’s gums with a clean finger, a small cool spoon, or a moist gauze pad
Give your child a clean teething ring, preferably one made of firm rubber, to chew on
If your baby is eating solid foods, offer them a peeled and chilled cucumber or carrot to gnaw on. Just be sure to watch out for any pieces that might break off and pose a choking hazard.
A little acetaminophen or ibuprofen may help relieve excessive crankiness. However, do not give your child any teething medications that contain the pain reliever benzocaine, including Anbesol, Hurricaine, Orajel, Baby Orajel and Orabase.
When your baby’s first teeth appear, you can start brushing with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush. Until your child learns to spit, around the age of 3, use a smear of fluoride toothpaste no bigger than the size of a grain of rice.
According to both the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, it’s time to schedule your child’s first dental visit after the first tooth erupts and no later than his or her first birthday.
Plymouth Dentistry serves the dental needs of patients of all ages. Dr. Gary Feucht and staff are here to answer your questions about teething and your child’s dental care.