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Teething Doesn’t Have to Bite!
May 21st, 2012 by Dr. Watson

May is National Women’s Health Month, and Jackson Center for Smiles wants to celebrate by providing helpful information to all new mothers in Jackson who may have some questions about their baby’s teeth. We know how stressful being a new mom can be, and that stress can have a toxic effect on your own health. We also know that when you’re not feeling your best, you’re not able to care for your baby in all the ways you would like.

So taking care of baby and taking care of mom are both equally important to us! Until your child is ready for their first dental appointment at around age  three, they will need you to manage all of their dental care, so make sure to ask Dr. Watson if you have any questions about their teeth.

What is teething?

Teething is the discomfort your baby feels when their first teeth start to emerge through their gums. It is often a very frustrating time for both baby and parents, often involving a lot of crying (and that’s just from mom and dad!).

Your baby’s mouth may hurt almost constantly and parents are often frustrated that there isn’t a “cure” for teething and there may seem to be no way to make your baby happy. Every baby’s experience is different, but we hope that learning more about teething will help you prepare yourself and your baby.

When will my baby start teething?

Did you know that teeth begin forming in your baby even before birth? They are formed in the jawbones, but don’t erupt until later. Most babies will begin teething around three months old.

Even though they begin teething, it is usually a few months before the teeth actually emerge. The two lower front teeth are the first to erupt somewhere between 6-9 months after birth. Do not be concerned if your baby is a little late. By age 3, all 20 baby teeth should be present.

Are there any teething cures?

Sadly, no. Your baby’s teeth are going to make their way through the gums no matter what, and this isn’t a comfortable situation in their mouth. There are, however, a few tips to soothe any pain or irritation they may feel.

You can ease some of the discomfort with a clean finger or a wet gauze pad. A cool teething ring can also help to soothe your baby’s tender gums. Anything cool that they can mouth usually helps, just make sure it isn’t too hard. You don’t want to bruise their already sensitive gums!

Also make sure to wipe your baby’s face often with a soft cloth to remove drool and prevent a rash from developing. Keep their gums and teeth clean with a damp washcloth or gauze, or brush them gently with a soft, infant-sized toothbrush and water (without toothpaste).