Parents are always very interested to discover that first tooth to erupt in their child’s mouth. It instills a certain sense of pride when children reach any developmental milestone and the arrival of teeth is a huge one as your baby will soon be ready to eat more complex foods to gain important nutrients for continued growth! This, in turn, helps with further growth and development for the immunity, brain, bones, muscles, and the rest of the body.
Teeth also help babies by providing a hard feedback for the tongue to develop sounds of language, support for the lips and cheeks and helps them take really cute pictures (especially when its just the two lower front teeth).
It’s a happy occasion, really, although the feeling babies experience while getting those cute little teeth can be downright difficult for baby and parents to deal with.
When does it start?
“Babies usually start to cut their first tooth at 4 to 6 months, but this is highly variable” says Dr. Elizabeth. It depends a lot on genetics. If you got your teeth early, your baby might, too. Same thing if you got yours late. So grandparents, that distinctly remember when theirbabies teeth erupted, usually predict this accurately for their grandchildren!
The cute first teeth
The first to erupt are usually the two bottom front teeth (central incisors) and then the four upper front teeth (central and lateral incisors). But this order can be random and it’s typically no cause for concern if the teeth come in a different order. Our pediatric dentists are outstanding at detecting this, anything out of order, and discussing it with you when you are in the office.
Your baby should have his/her full set of baby teeth by age three.
What symptoms to expect
Some babies erupt teeth without any symptoms at all, while some babies experience it all: biting, drooling (which can cause redness/tenderness on the chin or cheeks) gum swelling and sensitivity, sleep difficulty, and altered appetite. All of these changes can cause fussiness and irritability.
Some babies also get a mild fever when teething: teething itself doesn’t cause this, but the open wounds in the gums can make it easy for your little one to catch a bug. The fever is just his/her immunity fighting it off.
How to help your baby through
Chill (don’t freeze) wet washcloths for your baby to chew on. This is really the best, safest option. This way, you won’t have to worry about BPA and your baby’s teeth puncturing teething rings.
Cold pureed fruit or applesauce is also soothing. So is rubbing his/her gums with a clean finger.
If your baby’s discomfort seems particularly bad, consult your pediatrician for a pain-reliever for your baby. Something like acetaminophen or ibuprofen may be appropriate for this kind of discomfort.
You should also definitely visit your pediatrician if your baby’s teething is accompanied by these symptoms:
- High fever, diarrhea and/or vomiting
- Blue gums (this means there’s a gum swelling over the erupting tooth, an eruption cyst. Most are benign, but it needs to be checked)
- Lesions or bumps on the gums
About Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan, the offices of Drs. Plunkett, Ralstrom, Makowski, Thanasas, Ker, and Associates
Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan have 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. The ability to treat all patients with compassion and individuality, including those that may have special needs reaches beyond our facility, which has 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.