Baby’s First Tooth
New parents often wonder when their baby’s first tooth will appear. Baby’s first tooth usually emerges around 4 and 6 months of age. However, some infants don’t have their first tooth until 14 or 15 months old. It’s fascinating that baby’s teeth are already present in their jaws at birth. Typically, the first teeth to appear are the lower front teeth. By age 3, children should have a full set of 20 primary teeth. It’s also important to adequately care for your baby’s teeth.
Teething in Babies
The milestone of the first tooth erupting from the gums can be very uncomfortable for babies. This event is commonly referred to as “teething” in babies. The first clues that baby’s teeth are coming in, is based on the baby’s change in behavior, such as being more fussy or sleepy. Other symptoms of teething include teething pain, irritability, tender and swollen gums, and drooling. Additional signs of teething are loss of appetite, rash around mouth area, more sucking, ear pulling, and difficulty sleeping. Teething usually lasts from 6 months to 3 years of age. The first teeth eruptions are the worse. One of the best things parents can provide for their child is something safe for them to chew on. A recommendation that usually works well is to have teething toys available at the house when your baby is about 2 months old. Teething toys can help relieve sensitive and sore gums when the baby chews on the toy. Some teethers also have the option for you to cool them in the freezer to have an added benefit of slightly numbing the gums.
Caring for Baby’s Teeth
Even before your baby’s first tooth appears, it is important to take care of their gums. You should wipe your baby’s gums and tongue with a clean soft, warm and wet cloth or gauze a few times a day. As your baby’s teeth begin to emerge, you can start to brush their teeth with a small smear of a fluoride toothpaste twice a day. You should also schedule a visit with a pediatric dentist within 6 months of your baby getting their first tooth or by the time they are 1 year old. Remember to remove your baby’s bottle before putting them to sleep. If the bottle is left, the milk can remain on a baby’s teeth and the sugars can lead to tooth decay. Never let your baby or child fall asleep with a bottle in their mouth. Switching from a bottle to a sippy cup around 6 months old can help reduce the chance of dental issues related to bottle-feeding.
If you have any questions on caring for your baby’s teeth, remember to contact California Dental Group at (800) 407-0161 for more information or schedule an appointment with your dentist.