Babies can’t tell us when something is wrong, which is why we have to pay special attention to any changes in their mood and behavior. Is your baby acting fussy or grouchy? Are they having troubles sleeping through the night?
Chances are, your baby is teething!
Teething is a difficult time for parents and babies. Your baby is groggy, uncomfortable, and in pain — and you may not know how to help. Fortunately, the experienced pediatric dentists at Stellar Kids Dentistry in Mukilteo, Everett, and Mill Creek, Washington, are no strangers to a teething baby.
After a careful dental exam, we can help determine whether your baby is teething and what you can do to ease their discomfort.
What is teething?
Teething is when your baby’s first tooth starts erupting through their gums. Because babies aren’t used to having teeth, this process can feel painful and uncomfortable. If your baby is teething, they may be fussier and crankier than usual.
What age does teething start?
The right teething age varies, depending on your baby’s tooth development. Some babies start teething as early as 3 months while others begin teething around 14 months. The average age that teething begins at is about 6 months old.
While every baby is different, the first baby teeth to appear in most teething babies are the central incisors — the two bottom front teeth. Around 4-8 weeks later, the central and lateral incisors — the four front upper teeth — start to erupt through the gum line.
Over the next month or two, your baby’s lower lateral incisors will begin to erupt next to their bottom front teeth.
Finally, your baby’s primary molars and eyeteeth (upper canines) should break through the gum line. Most children have all 20 primary teeth by the time they turn 3. If you’re concerned about your baby’s lack of tooth growth, call Stellar Kids Dentistry for a dental exam.
How do I know if my baby is teething?
While many babies show no signs of teething, others feel irritable and cranky. Some of the most common signs of teething in babies are:
- Swollen gums
- Increased chewing and biting
- Ear pulling
- Changes in sleep habits
- Low-grade fever
- Red gums
A high fever, diarrhea, rash, and vomiting are indicators of illness and should not be mistaken for teething symptoms.
How can I soothe my teething baby?
There are many remedies for teething pain in babies, including:
When your baby is teething, they want to gnaw and chew on something. To help relieve pain as their teeth erupt, give your baby a soft toy or teething ring to gnaw on. If you don’t have one, your clean fingers will also do the trick.
Swollen gums are uncomfortable and painful. You can help soothe gum pain and inflammation with a cold washcloth, pacifier, or even a frozen teething ring.
Talk to your dentist at Stellar Kids Dentistry about over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers, such as children’s Tylenol®. When used in moderation, pain relievers can help reduce swelling and relieve pain.
Excess drool is a common symptom of teething that should be monitored. Too much drool spreads germs and bacteria that are harmful to your baby’s health. Make sure to keep your baby’s mouth area clean and dry to prevent oral health problems, like thrush.
If you want to talk to an expert about teething, call the pediatric dentists at Stellar Kids Dentistry or book a visit online now!