When Baby Teeth Break Through: Infant Oral Care and Tips for Teething

Teething and Kids Dental Services in Saskatoon

Good pediatric dental care starts early with the education of parents! By working together with a reliable pediatric dentist in Saskatoon, a parent can start setting their baby up for a lifetime of oral health long before the first teeth come in. When parents know what to expect and understand the process of teething, they’ll be equipped to keep baby’s mouth as comfortable and healthy as possible during the transition into having teeth. 

What hides beneath the gums…

Your child was born with all twenty primary teeth below the gumline. Over the course of the first three years, these teeth will push through the gums into the mouth, helping your child chew and speak properly until the permanent adult teeth replace them, beginning around age six or seven. The health of baby’s mouth when the teeth break through can influence the strength and health of the primary teeth as they emerge. 

Keep a gummy smile healthy 

Toothbrushing can begin as soon as the first tooth begins to appear in the mouth, but it’s beneficial to begin tending to your child’s oral health earlier on. Long before baby’s teeth start to appear, parents can make a regular habit of cleaning baby’s gums with a soft, damp cloth. Gently wiping the gums clean will help reduce bacterial growth in baby’s mouth. Pediatric dentists recommend this practice after feedings whenever possible. Applying gentle pressure while wiping gums will also provide comfort to your baby while they are teething. 

When baby teeth break through 

Your baby’s gums can become quite sore and tender when teeth begin to push through between 3 and 12 months of age. You’ll know when your child is teething if they are:

  • Irritable or fussy 
  • Sleepless
  • Drooling more than usual
  • Not hungry for feeding

Tips for Coping with Teething 

To help bring some comfort to your teething baby so you can all get more sleep, here are a few tips recommended by kids dentists in Saskatoon:

  • Give baby a firm rubber teething ring and avoid liquid-filled rings or any plastic objects that might break and cause damage to the inside of the mouth. Check the teething ring often and replace immediately if it is cracked or worn. 
  • Gently rub or press on gums with a clean finger or a soft, damp cloth. This can be done while wiping gums clean after feedings. 
  • If baby is eating solids, give them cool, soft foods such as yogurt and applesauce.
  • Sometimes a bottle can help, but remember that residues from formula, milk, and juice can all cause tooth decay if left to rest in baby’s mouth after bottle-feeding.
  • Topical pain relievers such as gels or ointments are not recommended. 
  • Bring them to a dentist within their first year to talk about your child’s teething pain and progress, and for further information about how to transition into brushing and set them up for a lifetime of oral health.

Lifelong oral health starts early 

It’s important to keep your children’s teeth clean as soon as they come in because they are important space holders for permanent teeth later. Tooth decay can result if baby teeth are not well cared for. As soon as you can see the first tooth, you can begin to brush it gently with a spot of fluoride toothpaste on a brush that has a small head and soft bristles. And of course, bring your child to your pediatric dental care provider within the first year, or whenever the first teeth arrives. If you’re looking for kids dental services in Saskatoon, please reach out to the Midtown Dental clinic as we are taking new patients and would love to serve you. You can call us directly at (306) 652-8575.