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Your baby’s teeth and gums need tending even before their first dental visit, which should take place by their first birthday, or six months after their first tooth erupts. Before then you can clean baby’s gums with a soft, clean washcloth and once the teeth begin erupting, brush the teeth gently with plain water several times a day. There are toothbrushes with soft bristles designed to use for infants.

While a baby’s tooth buds start forming during Mom’s second trimester, and as the roots start growing, they force the crown to move up. This pressure breaks down the gum tissue, making it thinner until if finally breaks through the gums.

Your baby can let you know he is teething by displaying any number of unusual behaviors. Excessive drooling, rubbing the gums or ears in an attempt to relieve pressure, running a low grade fever and biting can all be signs that your little one is teething. He may also be unusually irritable, may suck constantly, wake up a lot, and may have a noticeably decreased appetite.

If your baby is teething, you can try soothing his gums by rubbing lightly with a clean finger or cold spoon. Keep the gums clean by running a clean, damp washcloth lightly along the bottom and top of the gums. Once his teeth erupt, clean them several times a day by gently brushing with a small, soft-bristled toothbrush.

Timeline for emerging teeth:

The womb: baby’s teeth begin forming while baby is growing in the womb, beginning in the second trimester.

The first year: baby teeth begin erupting anywhere from 3-12 months.

Pairs: teeth tend to arrive in pairs, erupting on one side and the corresponding other side, though not necessarily simultaneously.

Three: by the age of three, your baby will have all 20 primary teeth in the mouth.

Six: your baby’s primary teeth will begin falling out by the time your child is six years old.

Twelve: all primary teeth will be replaced by permanent teeth by the time your child reaches 12.

Take good care of your baby’s teeth as they arrive and let us know if we can schedule a checkup or answer any questions! We can be reached at 979-297-0337.