Teething can be a difficult time for children, and it is often an intimidating time for parents as well. Many questions plague inexperienced parents, so we asked Dr. Garrett to answer some of the questions we get most often.
When does teething occur?
The most important thing to remember with these questions is that every child is different. Some children develop teeth quickly, while others are a bit slower to develop. Having a child whose teeth grow more slowly is not a problem. Stay patient, and everything will turn out alright. That said, teething typically occurs between infancy and age three, but it is not uncommon for children, especially boys, to continue teething past age three.
Which teeth appear first?
Again, every child is different, but most children’s front, lower incisors erupt around six months. Between six and twelve months, the average child will get eight front incisor teeth. The next teeth to come in are usually molars, which often occurs around twelve months. Canines follow the first set of molars and come in about eighteen months on average. Lastly, between eighteen months and two years, the average child will develop their second set of molars, but it is common for this to take longer. Some children do not see their second set of molars until after their third birthday, which is normal.
Should I use Orajel to soothe my child through teething?
Orajel and other topical anesthetics are not recommended for teething children, as they will be mostly ineffective in these cases. Topical anesthetics are meant to numb and soothe the very outer layer of skin. Teething causes deeper pain from below the surface of the skin.
What should I use to comfort my child through teething?
Tylenol is typically the best pain relief option for children that are teething. It is soft on stomachs, easy to get, and it is usually effective with children. The key with Tylenol is ensuring that you give your child the correct dose. Giving your child too much can be dangerous, and we recommend tracking dose amounts and the times you administer it. If you have given your child Tylenol and they are still in pain, you can alternate it with Motrin as well.
What should I do about a permanent tooth coming in behind a baby tooth?
This is an extremely normal event. Because of children’s crowded mouths, adult teeth often come in behind a baby tooth, as it is the path of least resistance. As long as the baby tooth is loose, it will likely fall out on its own. If the baby tooth is not loose, it may need to be extracted, which is routine and usually causes children minimal pain.
Teething can be a challenging time for first-time parents, but it does not have to be! Remember what we always say: It does not matter how you take care of your child’s teeth, as long as you take care of them from the beginning.