The B Question: When and what to do when my baby starts teething?

Updated: Mar 9, 2019



Most babies first tooth will erupt around 9 months, however some may show signs of tooth eruption earlier or later. You can expect by age two or three that all twenty baby teeth have erupted. The following is a guide of average eruption times of when to expect your baby’s teeth.



Signs your baby is teething:

Some babies may be uncomfortable when their teeth are coming in whiles others don’t notice it all. Some signs to look for are:

  • Drooling

  • Swelling and sensitivity of the gums

  • Trouble sleeping

  • Refusing food

  • A tendency to chew everything


How to help your baby manage symptoms of teething:

  • Give baby something to chew on such as a teething toy or a wet washcloth

  • Rub gums with a clean finger

  • If the pain still persists, your health care provider can recommend medicine to ease the pain


Baby Teeth Eruption and Shedding Timeline Source: American Dental Association

How to care for your baby’s new teeth

Cavities are a common problem with children’s teeth. Like adults, children can also have tooth decay and gum disease. Before the teeth have erupted it is important to start a daily oral hygiene routine. Good oral hygiene habits will help your child throughout their life. Here are simple ways to keep your baby’s teeth and gums clean and healthy:

  • Before the first tooth erupts, wipe your babies mouth with a clean washcloth

  • After the first tooth eruption, brush your baby’s teeth twice a day with a toothbrush and a small amount of toothpaste.

  • Start flossing once your baby has two teeth that touch each other

  • It is very important to avoid putting a baby to sleep with a bottle of milk as the sugars will sit on the teeth all night and lead to tooth decay

  • Limiting sugar and choosing healthy snacks will also help keep their teeth and gums healthy


What if my baby doesn’t have teeth yet?

All baby’s teeth erupt at different times. The above chart is a guide based on averages. If you are concerned, book an appointment with your child dentist to discuss. It is important to take your child to their first dentist appointment by their first birthday even if their teeth have not erupted.



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