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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.

Girl | Jet Set Smiles, Pediatric Dentist in Phoenix

to Treat the Symptoms of Teething

Seeing those tiny bumps forming on a baby’s gums is an exciting moment for every parent, but unfortunately, teething can cause pain and discomfort. You and your little one don’t have to deal with sleepless nights. Understanding the symptoms of teething and ways you can help will allow you to enjoy this magical milestone.

When Does Teething Begin?

While the teething timeline isn’t the same for every child, most babies start teething between 4 and 7 months of age. The two bottom front teeth are usually the first to come in, followed by the two upper front teeth. Most toddlers have their full set of 20 baby teeth by age 3. A tell-tale bump on the gums is usually the first sign a tiny tooth is ready to make an appearance.

What Are the Symptoms of Teething?

Symptoms of teething may vary from child to child. These include red, swollen and tender gums, excessive drooling, a rash around the mouth, ear pulling, fussiness, irritability, a slight increase in temperature (not a fever), an increased desire to gnaw, loss of appetite, and difficulty sleeping.

Teething may be uncomfortable, but it shouldn’t cause signs of illness. If your baby has a high fever, cough, runny nose, diarrhea, or vomiting, something more than teething is likely going on. We recommend contacting your child’s pediatrician for evaluation and treatment.

How Can You Treat the Symptoms of Teething?

Here are some dos and don’ts to help soothe and comfort your teething baby:

Dos: Allow your baby to chew on a clean, cold cloth or rag to help decrease inflammation. You can also massage those sore gums with a clean finger or gauze. You may want to offer your baby chilled foods such as yogurt or applesauce, or frozen fruit (if your baby is on solids). Another option is providing a refrigerated (not frozen) pacifier or teething ring.

Teething babies love to chew, so an unsweetened teething biscuit can provide comfort, but make sure you don’t offer these before your child is eight months old. If your little one is inconsolable, talk to your pediatrician or pediatric dentist about pain medication.

Don’ts: It’s important to keep your baby safe while dealing with the teething blues. Avoid using topical medications containing lidocaine or benzocaine and stay away from herbal products, which often do more harm than good. Never give your child acetaminophen or ibuprofen without checking with your child’s healthcare provider first. Moreover, beware of teething necklaces, bracelets, or anklets due to the risk of choking, strangulation, or injury.

Quality Pediatric Dentistry in Phoenix, AZ

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends scheduling your child’s first dental visit after the first tooth arrives and no later than the first birthday. Your trusted team at Jet Set Smiles Pediatric Dentistry will help you establish proper oral practices to lay the groundwork for a lifetime of healthy smiles. Are you ready to get your little one’s smile off to a great start? Call us and schedule your appointment today!

Girl | Jet Set Smiles, Pediatric Dentist in Phoenix

Teething Fits into Infant Development

Congratulations on the arrival of your new baby! So much is going on through your mind as you hold your little one in your arms. Before you know it, your child will begin teething, which is a normal part of infant development. Most babies teeth between six and ten months of age, and most children have all their primary teeth by the time they are 30 months old.

Teething Symptoms

Your baby’s two bottom front teeth should erupt first, followed by the two upper front teeth. You will notice bumps on your little one’s gums when the time comes. Some infants experience mild symptoms with slight irritation of the gum tissue, while others may become cranky, and may even have a mild fever. Your baby may have red and swollen gums, may be fussier than usual, may refuse to eat, or may drool more than usual. A teething baby will want to bite and chew on objects more, and may not sleep as well. Symptoms of teething may occur over a few days or even weeks before the tooth finally emerges through the gumline.

Keep in mind that teething will not cause high fever, diarrhea, runny nose, cough, or rashes on the body. If your child experiences any of these symptoms, something else is likely going on, so make sure to schedule a visit to your child’s pediatrician.

How Can You Help?

If your teething baby seems uncomfortable, there are some ways to help. Rub your baby’s gums using a clean finger or a moistened gauze pad. The pressure can help ease your baby’s discomfort. You can also use a cold washcloth or a chilled teething ring to help soothe your child’s gums.

Excessive drooling can cause skin irritation, so make sure you dry your baby’s chin using a clean cloth. If your child is especially cranky, you may want to consider using over-the-counter pain medication as recommended by your child’s pediatrician or pediatric dentist.

Caring for Your Child’s Teeth

Even before the first pearly white erupts, you should start cleaning your baby’s gums at least twice a day using a soft, clean washcloth or a soft infant toothbrush. The cleansing can help prevent bacteria from building up in your baby’s mouth.

When the first pearly white emerges, brush using a small, soft-bristled brush. Use a smear of fluoride toothpaste no larger than a grain of rice until your child learns to spit at around age 3. From that point on, you can switch to a pea-sized dollop of toothpaste. Make sure to supervise your child’s brushing time.

It’s also important to begin taking your child to your pediatric dentist for routine dental checkups. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends scheduling a child’s first dental visit after the first tooth erupts and no later than the first birthday. Establishing dental care early on in life can help set the stage for a lifetime of healthy smiles.

Quality Pediatric Dental Care in Phoenix Arizona

Visit Jet Set Smiles Pediatric Dentistry to learn more about teething, and how it fits into your infant’s development. Our exceptional, child-friendly staff is committed to delivering quality, gentle care in a happy and comfortable environment. We strive to develop a partnership with you aimed at ensuring your newcomer’s smile is off to a great start!

Girl | Jet Set Smiles, Pediatric Dentist in Phoenix