Everything you need to know about teething

  • Posted on: Feb 16 2017

It’s tough having a teething baby. There’s lots of crying, lots of drooling, lots of chewing, and, especially if you’re a new parent, lots of concerns. How can we ease the pain? How long will this last? As a parent, all you want to do is help make it better. In the office, we get a lot of questions from New York moms and dads about the teething process. Here’s some quick FAQs to get you caught up to speed and prepped for your little one’s first dental exam.

He’s still so little. Is this normal timing or too soon?

It’s been said a million times, but it bears repeating: All babies are different! There are many factors at play when it comes to when your child starts getting visible teeth. For most babies, it begins somewhere between four and eight months of age. Keep in mind, however, that teeth are actually developing before they emerge from the gums. In fact, by the second trimester of pregnancy, tooth buds are already forming in your baby’s mouth. The tooth finally pops through as mouth tissue gets thinner and the growing roots force their way through the gums. So don’t worry if your sister’s baby didn’t start teething and until seven months and yours are starting at five; the most important thing is to look for common teething symptoms that don’t actually come with teething, as these might mean something bigger, like an ear infection, is taking place.

Which teeth will debut first?

Probably the front bottom teeth and the front upper teeth. Since it’s a new experience, getting in those first teeth might be rough on your baby, but some parents report that the process is pretty painless for their kids. Unfortunately, the molars and other back teeth that appear later can cause more pain because they have more width (and can sometimes be accompanied by bulging gums or cysts).

Seriously, what’s with all this drool?

It might seem excessive, but it’s quite normal. Experts aren’t sure why teething babies produce so much saliva, but some think that increased muscle movement in the mouth during teething simulates chewing, which activates the glands that are associated with saliva production. Be mindful that rashes and excessive diarrhea might occur as a result of all that extra spit.

Will teething rings do damage?

If teething rings make your baby feel better, use them! There are some important things to keep in mind, though. Some hard toys can do damage to new teeth, as can frozen teething rings. Opt instead for chilled rings, frozen washcloths, popsicles, or even frozen applesauce. Teething props are as varied as kids themselves, so experiment to find what works best in your house, with common sense and choking hazards in mind, of course.

Teething can be a difficult time for parents and babies alike, but it’s an important step in a child’s development. When it’s all said and done, your kid will have an adorable grin that will make you smile, too. Don’t hesitate to call or stop in with any questions about the process. Your little one’s teeth are important to us.

Posted in: Dental Care Tips