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What should I expect when my baby starts teething?

Updated: Mar 18

Babies typically start to experience tooth eruption some point between 4 months to 7 months, with some babies getting tooth earlier or later than average. By the time all 20 baby teeth have erupted, the child is typically between 2 to 3 years of age. Signs of baby teething:

  1. more fussy than usual

  2. difficulty falling asleep

  3. refusing to eat

  4. drooling more than usual

  5. more biting than usual

  6. less common: fever, rashes, cough, and diarrhea Keep in mind that these signs may start a few months before the tooth erupts.

What can I do to make my teething baby more comfortable?
Most of the signs and issues with teething stem from tender gums. The best way to soothe the gums is by gentle rubbing with a cool instrument. A cool spoon, cold chew toy, or a clean, moistened then frozen rag may relieve your child's discomfort.
Are teething gels safe for babies?
The FDA warns against using teething gels, many of which contain benzocaine to numb the gums, without direct supervision of a health professional as methemoglobinemia is possible. Signs of this rare but sometimes fatal condition include:
  1. pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, nail beds

  2. shortness of breath

  3. fatigue

  4. confusion

  5. headache

  6. lightheadedness

  7. rapid heart beat

What about oral viscous lidocaine for teething babies?
Oral viscous lidocaine is also discouraged by the FDA due to risk of seizures, severe brain injuries, and heart problems if given in too high of a dose. The best thing to do when your child gets his or her first tooth is to schedule a visit with your dentist. She or he will be able to review techniques for discomfort, how to properly clean your baby's teeth, discuss habits and conditions that can affect tooth or jaw growth, and many other topics. Your child's first dental visit should be within 6 months of their first tooth or by their first birthday. They may not let you do much at first, but the sooner they come in, the more comfortable they'll become!

Dr. Stephanie Stephan DDS, Dentist in Auburn Hills, Pontiac, and Waterford Michigan 1590 Baldwin Avenue, Auburn Hills, Michigan 48340

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