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Congratulations on your new baby! This is an exciting time in your life, and can also be somewhat difficult for you and your baby as his teeth erupt. A teething baby is often a fussy baby, which may also cause distress for mom and dad. Here are some things you can expect from the time your baby is 3-12 months as his teeth erupt, to be prepared!

Your baby’s teeth actually form while they are still in the womb. By the time baby has reached the age of three, he will have erupted 20 primary teeth, ten on the top and ten on the bottom of the mouth. These will include central incisors, lateral incisors, canines, first molars, and second molars.

While a tooth that has broken through the gums relieves baby’s pain, they tend to erupt in pairs on the symmetrical side of the mouth, so even though one might have come through, baby still might fuss as the corresponding tooth pushes its way through gum tissue.

By the time your child is six, he will begin losing his primary teeth as they make room for the permanent teeth, and by the time your child is 12, he will have lost all his primary teeth for good.

Teething signs:

Ear rubbing
Decreased appetite
Mild temperature (less than 102 degrees)
Biting (relieves pressure on the gums)
Drooling (causes rash around the mouth)
Gum rubbing (relieves pressure on the gums)

Tooth Development:

Baby’s tooth buds begin forming in the gums during your second trimester of pregnancy. As the roots form, they force the crown upwards. As this pressure continues, the gum tissue breaks down as they get thinner and thinner. Finally, they break down the gum tissue and emerge.

The central incisors are the first teeth to show themselves, at the bottom of the front of baby’s mouth. The next to make their debut are the central and lateral incisors, on the upper front of the mouth. Then the canine teeth show up, the pointy ones between the incisors and the molars. These are the easiest to break through because of their thin sharp shape, sliding through the gum tissue. Finally, the first molars will arrive in the back of the mouth by about the time baby is 12 months. These may cause the gums to bulge as fluid builds up, forming a blueish cyst over the molar as it tries to break through, and releasing blood in baby’s mouth as the erupting tooth pops the cyst.

Helping Your Baby:

As your baby is teething, it may help if you rub your baby’s gums lightly with a clean finger or cold spoon. Clean your baby’s gums by running a clean, damp washcloth lightly along the bottom and top of the gums. As your baby’s teeth emerge, you can brush them using a small, soft-bristled toothbrush and plain water 2-3 times a day. And finally, make sure your baby sees a dentist by the time he reaches his first birthday. A good rule is to see the dentist six months after baby’s first tooth erupts.

If you have any questions, or to schedule an appointment, you can reach our dental team at 773-947-4665.