Family Magazine

Taking Care of Infant Teeth

By Therealsupermum @TheRealSupermum

Taking Care of Infant TeethIt is a pretty big occasion for new parents when their newborn gets its first baby teeth. However, with that milestone comes some new dental care hurdles as well. The baby will start teething, and parents also need to start worrying about tooth and gum health. It can definitely be a challenging time, but also one full of joy and excitement.


Use these helpful tips to make the transition easier on both the parents and the child.


Prenatal care

Preparations to ensure a baby has healthy baby teeth starts while the child is still in the womb. Make sure the mother gets plenty of calcium, as the baby is actually forming teeth just as it forms every other bone in its body.


After birth, the teeth may not start to break through for a year or two, so keep the child’s mouth clean by swabbing the gums to remove bacteria. Once teeth have started to show, use just a tiny pea-sized droplet of toothpaste and gently brush in small circular motions.


Infant care

Newborns typically start getting their baby teeth around 1 year old, but it can take a couple years until all the teeth have broken through. Babies usually get their four middle teeth first, the the ones along the side and the back. Some babies will be fine during the teething process, but others will definitely experience some discomfort.

Teething symptoms include gum swelling and sensitivity, irritability or fussiness, refusal of food and problems falling asleep. The baby might also start biting and drooling when its baby teeth are breaking in.


How to help

As much as parents might want instant relief from a teething baby, there is nothing that can be done to make the teeth break through any quicker. It is a process that has to happen on its own. However, parents should be there to comfort their baby if he or she is having a rough time. Give the baby something to chew on, such as a teething ring or even simply a damp washcloth.


Cold baby food might also help the baby find relief. If that doesn’t work, try massaging the baby’s gums by rubbing them gently but firmly with a finger. The child’s pediatrician could also recommend acetaminophen to ease the pain. However, do not use over-the-counter gum-numbing gels, as these can be harmful to babies.


It is important to know that it is impossible to relieve 100 percent of the pain the baby is feeling. Eventually, the teeth will break through and the child will be much happier.


Robert Seitzinger is a copywriter for Elliott Family Dental, an Oregon City dentist. Learn more about Oregon City family dentistry on their website.

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