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Teething: 4 To 7 Months

Teething: 4 To 7 Months

Teething usually starts during these months. The two front teeth (central incisors), either upper or lower, usually appear first, followed by the opposite front teeth. The first molars come in next, followed by the canines or eyeteeth.

The Timing Of Teething

There is great variability in the timing of teething. If your child doesn’t show any teeth until later than this age period, don’t worry. The timing may be determined by heredity, and it doesn’t mean that anything is wrong.

How To Ease Your Baby’s Discomfort

Teething occasionally may cause mild irritability, crying, a low-grade temperature (but not over 101 degrees Fahrenheit or 38.3 degrees Celsius), excessive drooling, and a desire to chew on something hard. More often, the gums around the new teeth will swell and be tender. Try gently rubbing or massaging the gums with one of your fingers. Teething rings are helpful, too, but they should be made of firm rubber. (The teethers that you freeze tend to get too hard and can cause more harm than good.) Pain relievers and medications that you rub on the gums are not necessary or useful since they wash out of the baby’s mouth within minutes. Some medication you rub on your child’s gums can even be harmful if too much is used and the child swallows an excessive amount. Stay away from teething tablets that contain the plant poison belladonna and gels with benzocaine. Belladonna and benzocaine are marketed to numb your child’s pain, but the FDA has issued warnings against both due to potential side effects. If your child seems particularly miserable or has a fever higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit (38.3 degrees Celsius), it’s probably not because she’s teething, and you should consult your pediatrician.

How Should You Clean The New Teeth?

Simply brush them with a soft child’s toothbrush when you first start seeing her teeth. To prevent cavities, never let your baby fall asleep with a bottle, either at nap time or at night. By avoiding this situation, you’ll keep milk from pooling around the teeth and creating a breeding ground for decay.

How To Prevent Tooth Decay In Your Baby

How To Prevent Tooth Decay In Your Baby

Baby teeth are important. If baby teeth are lost too early, the teeth that are left may move and not leave any room for adult teeth to come in. Also, if tooth decay is not prevented, it can be costly to treat, cause pain, and lead to life-threatening infections.

Tooth decay (called early childhood caries) is the most common chronic infectious disease of childhood. Tooth decay may also be called nursing caries or baby bottle tooth decay.

Healthy dental habits should begin early because tooth decay can develop as soon as the first tooth comes in. Here is information for parents and caregivers from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) about causes of tooth decay, signs of tooth decay, and how to prevent tooth decay.

Signs Of Tooth Decay In Babies

Tooth decay might first appear as white spots at the gum line on the upper front teeth. These spots are hard to see at first—even for a child’s doctor or dentist—without proper equipment. A child with tooth decay needs to be examined and treated early to stop the decay from spreading and to prevent further damage.

How To Prevent Tooth Decay In Babies

Take The Following Steps To Prevent Tooth Decay:

  • Take good care of your own oral health even before your baby is born. It is important and OK to see a dentist for oral care while you are pregnant.
  • Whether you choose to breastfeed or bottle-feedit is important to take good care of your baby’s teeth.
    • Birth to 12 months: Keep your baby’s mouth clean by gently wiping the gums with a clean baby washcloth. Once you see the first teeth, gently brush using a soft baby toothbrush and a smear (grain of rice) of fluoride toothpaste.
    • 12 to 36 months: Brush your child’s teeth 2 times per day for 2 minutes. Use a smear of fluoride toothpaste until your child’s third birthday. The best times to brush are after breakfast and before bed.
  • Never put your child to bed with a bottle or food. This not only exposes your child’s teeth to sugars but can also put your child at risk for ear infections and choking.
  • Do not use a bottle or sippy cup as a pacifier or let your child walk around with or drink from one for long periods. If your child wants to have the bottle or sippy cup in between meals, fill it with only water.
  • Check to see if your water is fluoridated. Your child will benefit from drinking water with fluoride in it. If your tap water comes from a well or another non-fluoridated source, your child’s doctor or dentist may want to have a water sample tested for natural fluoride content. If your tap water does not have enough fluoride, your child’s doctor or dentist may prescribe a fluoride supplement. He or she may also apply fluoride varnish to your child’s teeth to protect them from decay.
  • Teach your child to drink from a regular cup as soon as possible, preferably by 12 to 15 months of age. Drinking from a cup is less likely to cause liquid to collect around the teeth. Also, a cup cannot be taken to bed.
  • If your child must have a bottle or sippy cup for long periods, fill it with water only. During car rides, offer only water if your child is thirsty.
  • Limit the amount of sweet or sticky foods your child eats, such as candy, gummies, cookies, Fruit Roll-Ups, or cookies. Sugar is in foods like crackers and chips too. These foods are especially bad if your child snacks on them a lot. They should be eaten only at mealtime. Teach your child to use his tongue to clean food immediately off the teeth.
  • Serve juice only during meals or not at all. The AAP does not recommend juice for babies younger than 6 months. If juice is given to babies between 6 to 12 months, it should be limited to 4 ounces per day and should be diluted with water (half water, half juice). For children 1 to 6 years, any juice served should be limited to 4 to 6 ounces per day.
  • Make an appointment to have your child see the dentist before the age of 1. If you have concerns, the dentist can see your child sooner. The dentist will look inside of your child’s mouth, apply fluoride varnish, and talk with you about how to keep her healthy.

Remember

Tooth decay can be prevented. Talk with your child’s doctor or dentist if you see any sign of decay in your child’s teeth or if you have questions about your child’s teeth. With the right care, your child can grow up to have healthy teeth for a lifetime of smiles.

The AAP Recommends That:

  • All infants receive oral health risk assessments during well-child visits starting at 6 months of age and periodic fluoride varnish application from the time the first tooth erupts through 5 years of age.
  • All children should be referred to a dentist as early as 6 months of age to establish a dental home. If a dentist is not available, talk with your pediatrician about how to maintain your child’s oral health and find a dental home.
  • All children in their early toddler years should have a thorough initial dental examination and regular dental care whenever possible.
  • Parents should limit food and drink exposure over the course of the day to 3 meals and 2 snacks (with healthy food choices and limited juice). More frequent exposure to sugars in foods and drinks makes it more likely that children will develop decay.
  • Parents should brush their children’s teeth with fluoride toothpaste as soon as they can see the first tooth coming in (erupting).