Teething Troubles

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One of the most dreaded periods of babyhood is when the baby’s first teeth begin to erupt. If you’re a new parent, you may have heard some “horror stories” from more experienced parents. Are you dreading the teething process because you think that erupting teeth will leave your baby restless and irritable? Think again! It’s not a painful experience for all children. The process doesn’t affect some kids at all. But if the teething period is uncomfortable for your baby, we’re here to help!

Let’s explore some commonly asked questions on the topic of teething.

When do teeth begin to come in? It depends! Typically, you may notice the first baby tooth erupting at six months. It’s not uncommon to see the first tooth much earlier or much later than that.

Which tooth comes in first? Again, it depends! Many times the first tooth to appear is the lower front incisor shown here in red. incisor

After the first tooth, the order will likely vary with the front upper and lower teeth. A baby around age one will start to grow molars in the back of the mouth.

This chart, provided by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, can serve as a useful guide to understanding dental development.

Is teething painful for my child? Most of the time parents don’t notice that babies are uncomfortable while their teeth are growing in. However, there are some clear signs that it may be getting uncomfortable for your child. Children may drool more than usual or try to put things in their mouths to chew on or massage their gums with. In some cases, babies may exhibit grumpiness, run a slight fever, or have mild diarrhea.

What can I do to relieve discomfort? Cold teething rings are your best bet! If you don’t have any rings readily available, give your baby something soft and solid to chew on. A cool, damp washcloth may be helpful. If a cool item doesn’t seem to help much, an appropriate dose of acetaminophen may be a favorable alternative and help curb other symptoms, if applicable. We do not suggest using benzocaine products, such as Baby Orajel, without consulting a dental professional first.

If you’re concerned in the teething process, you’re not alone! Call your pediatric dentist or pediatrician’s office.

Remember- we recommend that your child be seen for his or her first dental visit when there are eight fully erupted teeth in the mouth or by age one. Early prevention and education is critical at this time. We look forward to meeting the newest member of your family!

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