Teething tips for your tots

Teething—that’s when a baby’s first teeth begin to push through the gums. This can be a difficult time for your child and you. Knowing what to expect can help you deal with it.

When will my tot begin getting teeth?
Most babies get their first teeth around 6 months of age, some earlier and some later. Their teeth are developing below the gums before they are born. Teeth break through the gums over a period of months. The two bottom middle teeth usually come in first. Most children have all 20 of their primary teeth by age three.

What teething signs can I expect?
Some babies have sore gums and may be fussy, sleepless and grouchy. They may not want to eat and may drool more. Most experts agree that diarrhea, vomiting and fever are not usual for a teething baby and, if those conditions are present, you should consult your doctor.

What can I do to make the process as easy as possible?
Here are some tips for when your baby is teething:

  • Wipe your baby’s face often to remove drool and prevent rashes from developing.
  • Gently rub the gums with a cool metal spoon, a clean finger or a wet washcloth.
  • Give your baby a firm rubber teething ring or a teething biscuit, like zwieback, to chew on.

After your child’s first tooth appears, it’s time to think about regular dental checkups. For more information about teething and dental health, check out the American Dental Association at www.ada.org