Teething

Teething.New parents sometimes anticipate their baby's first tooth with a mixture of excitement and worry. While reaching a new developmental milestone is always a cause for celebration, this particular one can come with considerable discomfort. However, teething is different for each baby, and need not be painful at all; plus, there are steps you can take to make the process easier for your baby — and yourself.

Teething refers to the process by which primary (baby) teeth emerge through the gums and become visible in the mouth. This usually begins between six and nine months of age, though it may start as early as three months or as late as one year. Usually, the lower front teeth erupt first, followed by the ones directly above. Most children have all 20 of their primary teeth by the age of 3 (View Tooth Eruption Chart).

Recognizing the Signs

Kids mouth anatomy.

Common signs that your baby is teething include:

  • Irritability
  • Biting and gnawing
  • Drooling
  • Chin rash (caused by excessive salivation)
  • Swollen gums
  • Ear rubbing
  • Decreased appetite
  • Disrupted sleep patterns

You are most likely to notice any of the above from about four days before the tooth breaks through the gums up until three days after the tooth appears.

A less common teething issue is the formation of an “eruption cyst,” a small bubble-like swelling filled with fluid that covers an erupting tooth. Eruption cysts usually do not require treatment as the tooth will simply pop the cyst when it comes through.

While there has been some disagreement as to whether diarrhea, rashes and fever are signs of teething, these are more likely to be associated with an unrelated illness and should be reported to your pediatrician.

How to Help

Teething babies get the most relief from cold and/or pressure on the affected area. This can be applied with:

  • Chilled teething rings
  • Cold, wet washcloths
  • Chilled pacifiers
  • Massaging baby's gums

Make sure not to actually freeze your baby's teething ring or pacifier because this could burn if left in the mouth for too long. The outmoded “remedy” of rubbing whiskey or other alcohol on the gums is neither effective nor appropriate. Over-the-counter medication may be helpful, but always check the correct dosage with your pediatrician or pharmacist. These, too, should not be rubbed on the gums because they can burn. Numbing agents shouldn't be used on babies under age 2 unless directed by a physician.

Remember, it's best to start dental visits by your child's first birthday to establish this lifelong health-promoting routine (View Age One Dental Visit Video).

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Hagerstown, MD

 

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Frederick, MD

Monday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Tuesday:

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Wednesday:

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Hagerstown, MD

Monday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Tuesday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Wednesday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Thursday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Friday:

Closed

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

  • "[Review for Frederick Pediatric Dentistry]
    Kate became nervous for her exam when she sat in the chair. Dr. Amigo changed her schedule and did an exam on my older daughter first. Because Kate saw Anna getting the exam she then agreed to go with the hygienist. The hygienist was so caring and gentle with Kate. I know their schedule got thrown off because of this but that change gave Kate the confidence to do the exam and I appreciate it greatly. Irma, the dental assistant even came out to give the girls prizes when we were about to leave which made their day. Thank you all for being flexible in order to provide a positive experience for my children."
    By Katherine Marshall on 09/23/2020
  • "[Review for Frederick Pediatric Dentistry]
    Felt very safe and comfortable with all the Covid-19 ins we waited in our car till they called us and told us to meet up at the door are temperatures were taken hand sanitizer was given no air tools were used one way in one way out they literally thought of everything they could to protect their staff and the kids. It was a very pleasant experience during very unpleasant times"
    By Shayla Leatherman on 08/19/2020
  • "[Review for Frederick Pediatric Dentistry]
    For being a pediatric practice, they really do make my 5 year old feel comfortable. They took all the proper COVID-19 safety measures, which made me comfortable as well. The staff is professional and friendly, and they truly do make coming to the dentist an enjoyable experience."
    By Aubrey Schemm on 07/22/2020
  • "[Review for Frederick Pediatric Dentistry of Hagerstown]
    great experience every time. My Kids had a great time.My son who was terrified of dentists did absolutely wonderful at this first visit!!! The dental hygienists are very professional and very good at their jobs. One can tell off the bat that they have great experience with kids! would recommend them every time. Keep up the great work!"
    By Anonymous on 09/22/2020
  • "[Review for Frederick Pediatric Dentistry of Hagerstown]
    I have always loved this dentistry! Very glad to still have them for a dentist for my youngest daughter, as her brother would only let Dr Joe look at and do anything to his teeth growing up. Then he's seen my middle child and she still continues to come here! I wish he or his office would see adults cause I'm SURE my son would definitely come back to see Dr Joe, as I would love for him to be my dentist as well. All the employees are so friendly and if need anything they are there to help out anyway they can! They make you as well as your children feel very comfortable."
    By Aaliyah Frisby on 08/26/2020
  • "[Review for Frederick Pediatric Dentistry of Hagerstown]
    definitely from arrival to departure, the attention is super good especially with the protocol for the Covid-19 100% recommended"
    By Karianys Santiago on 06/26/2020
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