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A Parent's Guide to Teething: Everything You Should Know

March 25, 2024

A Parent’s Guide to Teething: Everything You Should Know

Nothing is as exciting as celebrating your little one’s milestones—that first smile, first giggle, and first tooth. However, teething is often an uncomfortable and painful experience and a source of frustration for parents. Our Jet Set Smiles Pediatric Dentistry team put together a guide to help you understand what to expect and how to ease your little one’s distress. 

When Do Babies Start Teething?

Parents often wonder when to expect that first tiny tooth. It’s important to note that not all children follow the same timeline when it comes to teething. The process typically begins between 4 to 7 months of age, with the two lower front teeth making their debut, soon followed by the two front upper teeth. Most toddlers have a complete set of baby teeth by their third birthday.

The first sign that your little one’s baby teeth are ready to emerge is the appearance of tiny bumps on the gums. Your baby may drool excessively, have red, swollen, and tender gums, and want to chew on hard items. Teething can lead to babies becoming more cranky and fussy, eating less, and having difficulty settling down to sleep. 

While teething may be an uncomfortable experience for some children, it should not cause severe symptoms. Vomiting, diarrhea, or high fever are not teething symptoms. If your child is overly fussy or shows signs of illness, we recommend seeing your child’s pediatrician as soon as possible. 

How Can You Ease Teething Discomfort?

The following are some ways to provide your child with teething relief:

  • Massage your little one’s gums with a clean finger or a wet washcloth, placing gentle pressure on the sore areas. 
  • Offer a chilled – not frozen – teething ring to help soothe your baby’s gums. 
  • Teething babies love to chew unsweetened teething biscuits for comfort – check with your pediatrician first and monitor your little one to ensure no pieces break off and become a choking hazard. 
  • Teething gels or over-the-counter pain medication can help soothe those swollen and sore gums, but check with your child’s pediatrician or pediatric dentist first. 
  • Dry any drool to prevent skin irritation, which can lead to further discomfort for your child. 

What Teething Remedies Should You Avoid?

Safety is paramount when easing your child’s discomfort. Avoid over-the-counter homeopathic remedies or teething gels with benzocaine or lidocaine, which may be harmful to your little one. Consult with your child’s pediatrician or pediatric dentist before administering any pain relief medication. Moreover, avoid attaching teething rings to your baby’s clothing because of the risk of choking or strangulation. 

Caring for Your Baby’s New Teeth

According to the American Dental Association, children should see a dentist upon the arrival of the first tooth and no later than the first birthday. Establishing a dental home right from the start helps set the stage for long-term healthy, happy smiles. 

Maintaining your child’s dental health requires more than regular visits to the dentist. We recommend a daily routine of gentle teeth cleaning to keep your child’s smile healthy and bright. It’s also important to avoid letting your baby fall asleep with a bottle of milk or juice, which can significantly increase the risk of tooth decay.

Quality Pediatric Dental Care Near Me in Phoenix, AZ

Dr. Patel and our kid-friendly team at Jet Set Smiles Pediatric Dentistry welcome you and your little one to our practice. Our dedicated team is here to offer guidance and preventive care to lay the foundation for a lifetime of healthy smiles. We invite you to call us at 480-284-5076 to schedule your appointment today.