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- Wanting to chew on fingers or hard materials
- Rubbing the gums or ears
- Increased sucking
- Reduced interest in solid foods
- Slight rise in body temperature
- Swollen gums
- Sensitive gums
- Rash on face, resulting from drooling
- After each feeding, wash your baby's gums with a soft, damp cloth or gauze.
- When teeth come in, brush them daily. Use a small, soft-bristled toothbrush or a damp gauze pad.
- For a child's first teeth, use an amount of fluoride toothpaste that is about the size of a grain of rice. Progress to an amount that is about the size of a pea by the time your child is three years of age. This will reduce the risk of the child swallowing it.
- Remove any drool. Keep the baby's face clean and dry. This will prevent a rash.
- Make sure anything given to your baby is clean and too big to swallow.
- The teething ring should be made of firm rubber. It should be just one piece.
- Do not freeze a teething ring. It will become too hard, which could damage new teeth. In addition, the cold could hurt tissue in the mouth.
- Avoid teething rings with liquid inside. They could break open, exposing your baby to the contents.
- Do not tie a teething ring or anything else around your baby's neck. If the ring or cord were to catch on something, the cord could choke your baby.
- Rub the gum with a clean finger or wet gauze to help reduce discomfort.
- Cool fluids may offer some relief.
- If crackers or teething biscuits are given, watch your baby carefully to prevent choking.
- Do not use alcohol.
American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry http://www.aapd.org
American Dental Association http://www.mouthhealthy.org
Canadian Dental Association http://www.cda-adc.ca
The Canadian Dental Hygienists Association http://www.cdha.ca
Teething: 4 to 7 months. American Academy of Pediatrics Healthy Children website. Available at: http://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/teething-tooth-care/Pages/Teething-4-to-7-Months.aspx. Updated December 3, 2013. Accessed February 17, 2014.
Teeth and Teething. American Family Physician website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/kids/eating-nutrition/teeth-teething.html. Accessed February 17, 2014.
Teething tots. Nemours' Kids Health website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/parent/general/teeth/teething.html. Updated November 2011. Accessed February 17, 2014.
2/17/2014 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs. Fluoride toothpaste use for young children. J Am Dent Assoc. 2014 Feb;145(2):190-191.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 05/2013
- Update Date: 02/17/2014