New parents are usually both excited and worried when it comes to a baby’s first tooth, but it should be noted that a baby’s teething experience doesn’t always have to be painful. Thankfully, there are ways for you to make your child’s teething process much less of a hassle for both you and baby. Your family dentist has some tips for parents of infant children on what to expect during this process and what you can do in order to make teething less painful.

What Is Teething

Teething occurs when the primary baby teeth emerge through the gums and become visible in the mouth. The regular age for this occurrence is anywhere between six to nine months. It may start as early as three months old and as late as a year old. The lower front teeth are typically the ones that erupt first, followed by the upper teeth that are directly above. By age three, a child should have all 20 of their baby teeth present and accounted for.

Signs To Look For

If your child is teething, you should look out for the following:

  • Irritability
  • Biting and gnawing
  • Drooling
  • Chin rash associated with excessive salivation
  • Swollen gums
  • Ear rubbing
  • Decreased appetite
  • Disrupted sleep pattern

Please note that any of the above will occur from approximately four days before the tooth breaks through the gum line up until three days after the tooth erupts. While it is not common, you should also be aware of what is known as an “eruption cyst”. This is when a small, bubble-like swelling is filled and covers an erupting tooth. These cysts don’t usually require treatment and can be easy to pop when they come through.

Pain Relief For Teething

For the best pain relief for your child’s teething, use something that can be cold or anything that can apply pressure to the affected area. These include but are not limited to:

  • Chilled teething rings
  • Cold, damp washcloths
  • Chilled pacifiers
  • Massaging the gums

Teething doesn’t have to be a painful experience for your baby. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your baby’s teething, you can call your family dentist for more information.