Every baby is different, and some will start teething earlier or later than others. (Fun fact: some babies are actually born with teeth!) While the average age for teething is around six months, some babies begin teething a few months earlier, or as late as their first birthday. Taking your baby to the dentist is an important factor in their ongoing oral health and development.
At Oasis Pediatric Dental Care & Orthodontics, our dentists Dr. Nathalie Phaeton and Dr. Ki Youn Kil and our pediatric dentistry staff recommend scheduling your child’s first dental visit by their first birthday, or six months after the first tooth erupts (usually whichever comes first). Our pediatric dentistry team offers a range of dental and orthodontic services for children and teenagers at our office in Falls Church, Virginia.
Does my baby need to see a dentist when teething?
It’s never too early to start thinking about your baby’s first dental appointment and to establish a dental home for the important early years of their dental development. Our pediatric dental staff is available to answer any of your teething and pediatric dentistry questions at every stage of your baby’s dental development.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends you schedule your baby’s first dental appointment shortly after their first tooth erupts, because even baby teeth are vulnerable to cavities. In addition to checking for cavities and showing you how to properly care for and clean your baby’s teeth and gums while they’re teething, as well as when they get old enough to brush and floss on their own, our dentists will also monitor their dental development.
What to expect from the teething process
Again, every baby is different and starts teething and developing at their own pace. Many parents find that while one child starts teething at one age, the next child may begin earlier or later (which is completely normal).
Some of the most common signs your baby is teething include:
- Increased fussiness and irritability
- Excessive drooling
- Sore/sensitive gums
- Biting and chewing hard objects
- Crying more than usual
Teething can be painful and uncomfortable for babies (and their caregivers!), but there are a few things you can do to help soothe their gums as their teeth grow in:
- Gently massage their gums
- Apply cold to numb their gums
- Get them a chew toy
- Keep their gums cool and clean
- Ask your dentist about topical treatments to soothe their gums
The teething process can be stressful and overwhelming for babies and their caregivers, but you don’t have to go through it alone!
For more information about teething and dental care for your baby, contact Oasis Pediatric Dental Care & Orthodontics to schedule your child’s first dental visit.