Do I need to call the doctor?
Teething can usually be handled at home. Contact the doctor if your baby develops a fever, seems particularly uncomfortable, or has other signs or symptoms of illness that could be unrelated to the teething.
How do I care for my baby's new teeth?
Ideally, you've been running a clean, damp washcloth over your baby's gums every day. If not, now's a great time to start. The washcloth can keep bacteria from building up in your baby's mouth.
When your baby's first teeth appear, switch to a small, soft-bristled toothbrush. Until your child learns to spit — at about age 3 — use a smear of fluoride toothpaste no bigger than the size of a grain of rice.
It's also time to think about regular dental checkups. The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend scheduling a child's first dental visit after the first tooth erupts and no later than his or her first birthday. Your baby's teeth and gums will also be examined at well-baby checkups. Remember, regular childhood dental care helps set the stage for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.
Jan. 29, 2015
See more In-depth
- Wright JT. Anatomy and development of the teeth. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 10, 2014.
- Nowak AJ, et al. Preventive dental care and counseling for infants and young children. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 10, 2014.
- Teething. American Dental Association. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/t/teething. Accessed Dec. 10, 2014.
- Dental care for your baby. American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. http://www.aapd.org/publications/brochures/babycare.asp. Accessed Dec. 10, 2014.
- Markman L. Teething: Facts and fiction. Pediatrics in Review. 2009;30:e59.
- Benzocaine topical products: Sprays, gels and liquids — Risk of methemoglobinemia. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/SafetyInformation/SafetyAlertsforHumanMedicalProducts/ucm250264.htm. Accessed Dec. 10, 2014.
- Healthy habits. American Dental Association. http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/babies-and-kids/healthy-habits. Accessed Feb. 21, 2014.
- Benzocaine and babies: Not a good mix. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm306062.htm?source=govdelivery. Accessed Dec. 10, 2014.