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Everything You Need to Know About Teething

baby teethingTeething can be a necessary, yet slightly troublesome time for many infants – not to mention their parents. From around the age of 6 months, your baby’s first tooth may appear, however this timeframe may vary considerably. Generally, by the age of three, a child will have their full set of 20 baby teeth.

Below is an approximate guide of when you can expect certain baby teeth to appear:

  • 6 to 10 months: Central incisors
  • 10 to 16 months: Lateral incisors
  • 17 to 23 months: Canine
  • 14 to 18 months: 1st baby molar
  • 23 to 31 months: 2nd baby molar

A child’s first teeth serve many important functions, including:

  • Allowing them to chew their food and obtain nutrients
  • Assisting with proper speech development
  • Contributing to their appearance, including their facial shape and structure
  • Maintaining space for their permanent teeth, helping to prevent crowding as the child grows older

Signs of Teething

It isn’t unusual for some babies to experience discomfort as their new teeth break through the gums. The tell-tale signs of teething include:

  • Irritability
  • Red swollen gums
  • Flushed cheeks
  • A slightly raised temperature
  • Dribbling
  • Sucking their fingers or fist
  • Pulling the ear on the same side as the erupting tooth

Thankfully, there are methods you can use to ease your baby’s discomfort. Chilled teething rings, sugar-free rusks, a dummy, or wet flannel are all great for them to chew on to gain relief. Alternatively, you can gently rub your child’s gums with a clean finger.

How to Care for Your Baby’s New Teeth

Even before your baby develops their first tooth, there are ways that you can help to keep their gums and mouth healthy. We recommend beginning by using a damp cloth to wipe their gums clean. Then, once their first tooth or teeth have begun to break through, use a small, soft toothbrush without toothpaste to gently rub and clean the area.

Have a question about your child’s oral development? Feel free to contact us or schedule a consultation with our caring staff.

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