Babies generally
begin to drool and chew from teething around age two to
four months,
although the teeth do not usually erupt before four to
seven months of

For several weeks before a tooth breaks through the gums, the baby may experience discomfort. Irritability, poor sleep, reluctance to suck, and an increase in the frequency of bowel movements are symptoms associated with dental eruption. Teething rings (especially cold ones) could be used for relief.

The FDA advises against using topical anesthetics (like Orajel or Ambesol) on children under 2 years of age. You may occasionally give acetaminophen drops every four hours as needed for temporary relief.

If the baby’s symptoms are disturbing, call the doctor’s office to discuss the problem. We are careful not to attribute symptoms to teething which might be due to other problems.

Baby teeth usually erupt as follows:

  • Central incisors 6 – 12 months
  • Lateral incisors 9 -14 months
  • Canine (eye teeth) 16 – 22 months
  • First year molar 13 – 17 months
  • Second year molar 24 – 30 months

The time to start cleaning a baby’s mouth is shortly after birth. The gums can be gently wiped daily with a soft cloth. This routine gets the child used to having the mouth touched by the parent’s fingers. When the first teeth do erupt, the cloth may be used to clean them.

A toothbrush is generally introduced when the baby has about 8 teeth (no later than age 2 years old). 


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