new father sitting with his young children holding toothbrush and toothpaste

Tots And Teething: A New Parent’s Guide to Their Baby’s First Teeth

From the early signs of teeth and soothing sore gums to debating pacifier problems, every new parent should check out our family dentist’s guide to their baby’s first teeth!

Your child’s primary teeth are very important. They guide the growth of permanent teeth, assist in proper speech development and affect self-confidence. Their arrival, however, can be an uncomfortable experience for you and your baby. Here’s some information to help you and your baby navigate the teething stage.

Symptoms of Teething

Teething can begin as early as three months, but usually a baby’s first tooth comes in at around six months. Here are a few common signs that your baby has started teething:

  • Excessive drooling or dribbling
  • Gum swelling
  • Increased crying and irritability
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Increased tendency to bite hard objects
  • Rubbing their cheeks or ears

Soothing Sore Gums

Your child’s last tooth should come in by the age of three. Until then, teething can cause severe discomfort and be disruptive to the entire family. Here are a few proven ways to ease your baby’s pain:

  • Massage the gums with a clean finger or damp washcloth
  • Let your child chew on a clean, cold washcloth
  • Chill pacifiers in the fridge before use
  • Consider giving a pain killer such as baby tylenol when the pain is severe – consult your pediatrician before doing so

Precautions to Consider 

Always consult your pediatrician before giving your baby pain relievers. Here are a few important things to avoid when trying to alleviate your child’s discomfort:

  • Teething necklaces as they pose a strangulation risk
  • A teething ring filled with gel that could be ingested if the ring punctures
  • Anything to chew on that is small enough to be a choking hazard
  • Topical anesthetics as they can be toxic to infants
Furthermore, don’t disregard a high fever, vomiting or diarrhea. These are not symptoms of teething and could indicate a serious infection.

Are pacifiers really a problem?

It can be very tempting to rely on pacifiers when your child is teething. Although they have benefits, pacifiers can also harm your baby’s oral development if they are used beyond a certain age. Using pacifiers for too long can change the shape of an infant’s mouth and create problems with tooth alignment. To minimize this, only give your child a pacifier when they need to fall asleep and stop using pacifiers altogether after the age of two.

To prevent the spread of bacteria, always clean a pacifier before giving it to your child and never give a used pacifier to another child.

Visit Your Family Dentist in Red Deer at Parkland Mall Dental Centre

Infants should have their first dentist appointment within six months of getting their first tooth or by the age of one. At Parkland Mall Dental Centre, we offer dentistry services for people of all ages, including children and infants. Book your appointment today!