Our hopefully lifelong relationship with our teeth starts at a young age—and usually with some swelling and discomfort. “Teething” is the eruption of a child’s primary teeth (baby teeth) and occurs between three months and 12 months of age. Today, our Livonia family dentist Dr. James Stewart shares some information about teething and how you can make your child more comfortable as his or her teeth erupt.
How Do I Know if my Child is Teething?
Teething can start between three and 12 months, but generally occurs around six-months-old. Eruption usually starts with the lower front teeth, followed by the upper front teeth one to two months later. Swelling and soreness of the gums is common prior to the teeth erupting. Discomfort usually begins about three to five days before the teeth erupt. In an effort to relieve pressure in the gums, many babies will chew on toys or on their hands. They might also lose interest in eating or drinking because their mouths hurt. Some infants drool as their teeth are erupting. This can lead to a skin rash.
Minimize the Discomfort of Teething
Some babies aren’t fussy and don’t appear to be affected at all by teething. Others are noticeably uncomfortable. Here are a few steps you can take to make your child more comfortable during teething.
- There are several products designed for children to chew on while teething, such as teething rings. Many are filled with water and can be placed in the refrigerator or freezer to give your child something cold and soothing to chew on. Just make sure your child has something safe to put in his or her mouth.
- Using a clean finger, gently rub your baby’s gums for about two minutes at a time.
- Give your baby a pain reliever designed for his or her age, such as children’s Tylenol or children’s Advil.
Schedule an Appointment
The American Dental Association recommends that a child should see a dentist as soon as his or her first tooth erupts. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Stewart, call our Livonia dental office at (734) 425-4400. We serve patients from Novi, Farmington Hills, Plymouth, Dearborn, and the surrounding areas.