Caring for Your Teething Baby
How Will I Know When My Baby is Teething?
Your baby’s first teeth will start erupting at around 6 months of age, although this can vary from 3 to 9 months. By the time your child is 3 ½, they should have all 20 baby teeth. Some babies and toddlers may experience teething problems such as:
• red, swollen gums
• irritability and restlessness
• flushed cheeks or fever
• finger and fist-sucking
How Can I Soothe My Teething Baby?
Mild teething problems may be eased by letting your baby chew on objects such as crusts of bread, rusks or teething rings. Rubbing your child’s gums with your finger or applying a small amount of teething gel may also help to ease teething pain.
Teething beads made from natural stones or resins are popular with some parents, however these can present a choking hazard if they break. Avoid giving babies a teething ring or soother that can be broken into small parts.
How Do I Care for my Baby’s First Teeth?
As soon as your baby’s teeth appear, brush them with a child-sized, soft toothbrush or a small brush that fits onto your finger (finger brush) or a very clean face cloth to wipe over the teeth.
Clean their teeth daily because plaque (a sticky, invisible film of bacteria and left-over food) will form in your baby’s mouth just as it does in your own.
Brush your baby’s teeth with a small, pea-size amount of low fluoride toothpaste after your baby turns six months in non-fluoridated areas and after 18 months in fluoridated areas. Low fluoride toothpastes created especially for children under six years of age are available in most supermarkets or pharmacies.
Brushing your baby’s teeth can be a challenge, especially when they’re very young! Some parents distract their baby by counting when brushing, brushing to music, letting your child hold a toy with different textures or singing, allowing them to brush their tiny baby teeth more easily.