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Taking good care of a baby’s oral health starts even before that first tooth erupts. Caring for your baby’s gums sets the stage for good oral health as the teeth emerge. A baby’s tooth buds actually form while mom-to-be is in her second trimester. When the roots form they force crown to move upward. Eventually the pressure breaks down the gum tissue, thinning it out until the crown erupts.

What happens when baby is teething?

Baby can experience many unpleasant signs when teething, including drooling which might cause a rash around her mouth. She may rub her gums to relieve pressure, and may run a low grade fever, less than less than 102 degrees. She may also bite to relieve pressure on the gums, so don’t take it personally. Even without teeth it might hurt! Your teething baby be unusually irritable, may suck constantly, may wake up constantly, rub her ear, and finally, may have a noticeably decreased appetite.

If your baby is teething, try soothing her gums by rubbing lightly with a clean finger or cold spoon. You should keep her gums clean by running a clean, damp washcloth lightly along the bottom and top of the gums. Once her teeth push through the gums, 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 come through in pairs, erupting on one side and the corresponding other side, though not necessarily at the same time. This means your baby might continue to by fussy after one erupts, because the other hasn’t yet broken through.

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

Six: by the time your child is six years old, she will begin losing primary teeth as the secondary, or permanent teeth come in.

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

As you enjoy your baby’s firsts, be sure to clean her first (and subsequent teeth) and take her to her first dental visit by the time she reaches her first birthday! If you have any questions, or to schedule an appointment, you can reach our dental team at 828-631-3567.