Health & Medical Children & Kid Health

Infant Tooth Development

    Time Frame

    • All infants are different, and there is no one set age for when they'll start teething. Most babies start getting their teeth between the ages of 4 and 7 months. Generally, the first two teeth to come in will be the two lower teeth in the front. If you notice your baby is drooling excessively and chewing on anything he can get his hands on, that first tooth may be on its way.

    Preventing Decay

    • A common issue with infants is "baby bottle tooth decay." You should never put your baby to bed, for either a nap or at night, with a bottle. This can cause her teeth to decay. Be aware that formula, milk, juice and soda all contain sugar, so if you must give your baby a bottle at bedtime, make sure it's filled only with water. Around a year old, teach your baby to drink from a cup instead of a bottle, and make the transition to cups when your baby is ready. This can help prevent tooth decay, too.


    • Another way to prevent decay is to clean your infant's teeth. The Family Doctor website recommends that you start cleaning your child's teeth twice a day as soon as his first tooth pokes through. When your child is a baby, you can wash his teeth with a wet washcloth or gauze. Gently wipe his teeth and gums. Once your baby is a year old, you can start using infant toothpaste (make sure it doesn't contain fluoride, which is dangerous if swallowed) and a soft, child-sized toothbrush.

    Teething Pain

    • Babies experience teething in different ways. Some become very uncomfortable, while others seem to not be bothered at all. Some children even spike a fever when teething. There are a number of ways you can help relieve your child's teething pain and discomfort. You can give her a cold washcloth to chew on, or a cold teething ring. Speak to your doctor about giving a pain reliever or using teething gels.

    Dental Exams

    • Many parents wonder when they should take their babies to have their first dental exams. According to the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, this exam should occur between the ages of 6 months to 1 year. These organizations recommend that you schedule your child's exam between when his first tooth makes an appearance and his first birthday.

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