Teething is both a joyous (developmental milestone) and anxious (complicates feeding and new responsibilities for parents) time for parents. Babies can have a hard time with this developmental milestone, and they often bite, cry, struggle to eat and sometimes have a higher temperature than usual. Oh, and the drooling. These are signs that your baby is cutting their first tooth. Here’s our guide to teething.

It usually starts around 6 months.

It may be hard to believe, but your baby was born with all 20 teeth already forming beneath their gumline. The first baby teeth usually emerge when your baby is between 6 and 12 months.

Teething symptoms are:

  • Discomfort and irritability: your baby would be cranky
  • Trouble sleeping: due to the above, and causing the above, too
  • Loss of appetite
  • Drooling more than usual
  • Grabbing and chewing on objects within reach (your hand, your phone, the remote, etc.)
  • A slight increase in body temperature: This is due to the body working at pushing that tooth. Note that any temperature over 100F is a sign that your baby might be ill. Consult your pediatrician immediately for temperatures above 100F.

Symptoms begin and last 4 days before the tooth comes out, and about three days after. So that’s about one week of baby misery per tooth and this can be longer as multiple teeth can be coming in at once!

How to soothe a teething baby:

  • Find solid rubber teethers. Avoid liquid-filled teethers and plastic objects that can break.
  • You can simply use a clean finger to soothe their gums, or a gauze pad soaked in cool water. A cold plastic teaspoon also works great.
  • Ice cold teething rings are great too as a numbing effect will assist

Watch their pacifiers and bottle nipples as your baby becomes accustomed to his or her new teeth. These items can get beat up by the new teeth and may need to be replaced. Just keep an eye on them.

Numbing gels, homeopathic teething tablets:

Numbing gels contain benzocaine, and the FDA doesn’t recommend its use for children younger than 2 years old. Benzocaine is found in Anbesol, Hurricaine, Orajel, Baby Orajel and Orabase. According to the FDA, “These products carry serious risks and provide little to no benefits for treating oral pain, including sore gums in infants due to teething.”

Benzocaine has also been associated with methemoglobinemia, a rare and sometimes fatal condition marked by a greatly decreased amount of oxygen carried in the bloodstream.

Homeopathic teething tablets can contain inconsistent and potentially dangerous amounts of belladonna, a painkiller and sedative that works by blocking functions of the nervous system. This is not regarded as safe for children by the FDA.

The FDA states, “Consumers should seek medical care immediately if their child experiences seizures, difficulty breathing, lethargy, excessive sleepiness, muscle weakness, skin flushing, constipation, difficulty urinating, or agitation after using homeopathic teething tablets or gels.”

Visit your dentist as soon as that first tooth erupts into the mouth, or on your baby’s first birthday. We can evaluate the teething progress and give you advice on taking care of your little one’s growing smile. We want to make sure all children get off to the best start possible when it comes to their oral health.

About Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan

Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan has specialized in pediatric dentistry and orthodontics since 1968. Our family-friendly and newly renovated office gives patients and families a more comfortable and consistent experience with dentistry from the very beginning. Our pediatric dentists treat children from newborn to 18 years of age while our orthodontists provide care for both children and adults and are proud to be Premier Providers of Invisalign and Invisalign Teen services. We have the ability to treat all patients with compassion and individuality, including those that may have special needs as we have treatment rooms available for children who require additional privacy and customized care options. We pioneered valued hospital affiliations to allow dental services to be performed at DMC Children’s Hospital and St. John Macomb Hospital, when appropriate or necessary, and our specialists are also proud to be on staff at Henry Ford and Beaumont hospitals.

39400 Garfield Rd., Suite 200
Clinton Township, MI
Phone: 586-286-0700
Fax: 586-286-5932