Welcoming Your Baby’s First Tooth

When do babies get their first tooth?

Most babies usually get their first tooth between 4 and 7 months, but every baby is different. A few may not even get their first tooth until after their first birthday. Most toddlers have a full set of 20 teeth by the time they’re 3 years old.

Some signs your child may be teething

Acting cranky

Acting cranky

A teething baby may be a little fussy from discomfort.


Crying

Crying

It’s normal. Teeth are pushing through gums, after all.


Drooling

Drooling

The saliva helps soothe inflamed gums.


Wanting to chew on hard things

Wanting to chew on hard things

They’re trying to relieve pressure on the gums.


Having puffy, sore gums around lumps that feel hard to the touch

Having puffy, sore gums around lumps that feel hard to the touch

Be careful – old wives’ tales say that rubbing liquor on gums can numb them, but it can be harmful.


Experiencing a slight teething fever

Experiencing a slight teething fever

A low-grade fever with teething is common, but a high fever over 101°F and diarrhea are not.*

*If your baby has either one, call your pediatrician.


Some tips for soothing sore gums

Pressure works

Gently rub your baby’s gums with a clean finger, or offer a teething ring/pacifier made of firm rubber.

Keep things cool

Chill a teething ring, pacifier or wet washcloth – but don’t fully freeze it. Anything too hard can damage your child’s delicate gums. You can also give your child cool, soft foods like applesauce or yogurt if he/she is eating solids.

What to avoid

Avoid rub-on teething gels or liquids for babies less than 2 years old. Many contain benzocaine, an ingredient that can cause dangerous side effects in young babies. Stay away from liquid-filled teething rings, as they may burst. Last, never tie a teething ring around your baby’s neck for easy access.


Keep your baby comfortable

Try a pain medicine containing acetaminophen – such as Infants’ TYLENOL® – to ease pain from teething and fever if your baby is uncomfortable.

If you have any questions, talk to your pediatrician.


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