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 — such as fever or diarrhea.
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. The American Dental Association says there's no need to use toothpaste. Water is all you need until your child learns to spit — about age 2.
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.
Jun. 09, 2012
See more In-depth
- Wright JT. Anatomy and development of the teeth. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Sept. 26, 2011.
- Nowak AJ, et al. Preventive dental care and counseling for infants and young children. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Sept. 26, 2011.
- Teething. American Dental Association. http://www.ada.org/3015.aspx?currentTab=1. Accessed Sept. 26, 2011.
- Dental care for your baby. American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. http://www.aapd.org/publications/brochures/babycare.asp. Accessed Sept. 26, 2011.
- 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 Sept. 26, 2011.
- Sood S, et al. Teething: Myths and facts. The Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry. 2010;35:9.
- Benzocaine and babies: Not a good mix. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm306062.htm?source=govdelivery. Accessed June 1, 2012.