All parents know teething can be a stressful and trying time filled with sleepless nights. Here are five things parents need to know to navigate the teething landscape, straight from the source – the little tooth that can be a big pain for babies, parents and caregivers alike!
1. You can expect me to show up around the time your little one is 6 – 8 months old. But please have patience! Sometimes I need a little more time, and will arise around 12 – 14 months of age.
2. You will know when I’m about to arrive because your little one might be irritable and attempting to chew on hard objects. I usually show up first in the bottom jaw with a buddy, then my friends, the two top teeth, show up next!
3. The best way to help me introduce myself to your little one is to use a teething ring or gently rub your child’s gums with a cool, wet washcloth with a clean finger.
4. Once I’ve arrived, it’s time to start brushing each morning and night and begin flossing once I’m touching another tooth. This will typically happen around or after age 2. You should supervise brushing until your little one is 7 or 8 years old. Most children will master flossing by age 10.
5. After I appear, it’s time to visit the pediatric dentist! He’ll be able to tell you how to take care of my baby teeth friends and me once we all arrive. Part of keeping us healthy means being prepared for any emergencies – be sure to place this guide on your fridge with your pediatric dentist’s contact information in case I’m knocked out or chipped!
If your little one’s baby teeth have already arrived, but haven’t been introduced to a pediatric dentist yet, remember it’s never too late! Find a pediatric dentist in your area using the AAPD Find a Pediatric Dentist tool to establish a Dental Home – or home base – for your child’s ongoing dental care and needs.