• Teething can begin as early as three months, but usually occurs between the ages of six to seven months. Some babies won’t get their teeth until close to their first birthday.
• The lower central incisors usually appear first and are often followed by the upper central incisors about four to eight weeks later.
• Girls usually get their teeth before boys.
• When the tooth erupts through the gums, clean the babies tooth with gauze. Introduce a toothbrush between 12 to 18 months of age.
NOTE: Toothpaste containing fluoride is not recommended for children under the age of three as excessive ingestion of fluoride can cause brown stains on the teeth.
IS IT TEETHING?
“Most children are not disturbed by teething, although they may experience some diffi culty when their baby molars are
erupting,” says Dr. Keith Titley, Department of Paediatric Dentistry and faculty of Dentistry University of Toronto. These symptoms can begin as early as four days before the appearance of the tooth, to three days after it breaks through the gums.
• Loss of appetite
• Swollen gums
• Night waking
• Ear pulling
• Cheek rubbing
For sore, swollen gums, Titley recommends gently rubbing the gums with a clean fi nger or the back of a small, cool spoon.
Additional treatments include:
• Wipe the baby’s face often as drooling could cause a rash.
• Cool a teething ring (don’t freeze it, it’ll be too hard). Ensure that it’s not filled with liquid, that it can’t break and is large enough not to choke on.
• Offer a clean, cold wash cloth for baby to bite down on. (Use a clean one for each new use.)
• Freeze ice cube trays of breast milk (it freezes to a slushy, not solid consistency).
Note about over-the-counter numbing gel for teething:
Most doctors do not recommend it because, if swallowed, it can numb the throat, temporarily impairing the baby’s gag
reflex. Only use these products if you have been instructed to do so by your doctor. Continue to soothe those aching gums and hang in there. Before you know it, you’ll be strapping on your Tooth Fairy wings and paying for those teeth you’re now so anxiously awaiting!
TEETHING DOES NOT BRING ON:
• EXCESSIVE FUSSINESS
• DIAPER RASH
If your baby is exhibiting anything that concerns you, speak to your doctor.