Kids usually get their first tooth between the age of 6-12 months, and by the time they’re 2-3 years old, all of their baby teeth will have erupted.
But if you’re the proud parent of a newly-teething toddler, you may not be sure how to care for your child’s mouth during this time, or what to expect. Miles of Little Smiles is here to help! Read on to get some simple tips that will help you get through the teething process with less stress.
1. Start Brushing As Soon As Your Child’s First Teeth Appear
As soon as your little one gets their first tooth, it’s time to start brushing! You should brush their teeth twice a day, once in the morning and once at night, after their final meal of the day.
Use a long-handled, soft-bristled baby toothbrush with a grain-of-rice-size amount of fluoride toothpaste. Clean the front, back, and top of each tooth thoroughly, and brush their gums gently, too. This keeps their new teeth nice and clean.
2. Don’t Stress Too Much About Gum Swelling
Gum swelling is often associated with gingivitis, but this is extremely rare in toddlers and young kids. Instead, gum swelling is usually caused by the natural teething process. It’s normal for your child’s gums to be sore and irritated around an emerging tooth.
3. Know How To Manage Discomfort From Teething
There are a lot of ways you can keep your little one comfortable. Front teeth usually are not especially painful, but rear molars can hurt a lot when they come in since they’re so big. Here are a few tips for relief from teething discomfort:
- Let your child chew on a cold washcloth or a cool teething ring made of solid rubber
- Massage their gums gently and run an ice cube over them before your child eats
- Feed your child cold yogurt or applesauce if they’re old enough for solid food. It’s easy for them to eat, and cools down their mouth to give them relief from the discomfort of teething
- Give your child ibuprofen or acetaminophen to relieve pain. Use dosages intended for kids, and only do this after consulting with your pediatrician
Note that you should never use topical pain relievers like benzocaine (Orajel). This can cause a rare condition called “methemoglobinemia” in kids, which reduces blood oxygen to a dangerously low level.
4. Don’t Worry If Your Child’s Teeth Are Coming In A Bit Late
Every child is different. Some kids have all of their teeth by the age of 2, while others may still be waiting on a few teeth to erupt after they turn 3. So don’t worry if your child’s teeth are coming in a bit late.