Dealing with a cranky and irritable toddler? It may not always be random outbursts. One of the most common causes for irritability in little ones is a tooth eruption.

Children can experience teething as early as six months old.

They often feel pain and irritation when a tooth starts growing, which is why it’s so important that parents know how to soothe their baby’s sore gums, ease their pain, and the steps they need to take now that their baby is growing their first set of teeth!

This week, our family dentist in Armadale shares some common signs your baby is about to start teething, how you can care for baby’s teeth, and when they should start visiting the dentist.

Common symptoms that a child is teething

Parents may not be fully aware when teething is taking place, as the pain and discomfort can often begin before the tooth becomes visible.

We understand that it can be distressing to see your baby in pain, but it’s important to keep things in perspective and remember that this is a normal part of child development.

Here are some of the signs of teething that you should watch out for, especially if your baby is close to six months old.

Irritability and discomfort

Pain will often make your child irritated or upset. This is often caused by tender gums where the new tooth erupts. If you’ve got an irritable baby on your hands, teething is a common cause.

Fever

Fever is commonly believed to be a symptom of teething, however many experts believe that teething may indeed cause a slight rise in temperature, but not enough to cause a fever.

If your baby has a fever, we suggest calling your doctor.

Chewing on any object

If your child starts chewing and biting every object that they can get their hands on, it may be because they are looking for comfort to ease the irritation that they are feeling.

A teething ring is a fantastic tool to help babies ease their pain during this period.

Tender and sore gums

A sore erupting tooth usually causes your child’s gums to become tender and sore. To soothe their pain, you can gently rub their gums or apply ice to numb them.

Other signs can include flushed cheeks, trouble feeding, and more dirty nappies.

When do children’s permanent teeth come in?

On average, a child’s teeth will start erupting around six months, with the full set of teeth expected by the age of three.

For the next few years, until their baby teeth start falling out (around age six), this set of teeth acts as a sort of placeholder for their permanent set.

Dentist Armadale

Little baby girl holding toothbrush and brushing first teeth. Toddler learning to clean milk tooth.

How do I care for my baby’s teeth?

Instilling good oral habits starts at a young age!

Habits formed young will stay with your little ones as they enter adolescence, all the way through to adulthood.

1. Start cleaning their teeth

Even before teeth have erupted, you can gently clean baby’s gums. Use a wet cloth to gently wipe the front and back of their teeth.

Should I brush my baby’s teeth everyday?

Once your child’s first teeth appear, it is best to brush them at least twice a day. Doing so can prevent plaque and bacteria build-up in their teeth and gums (and also teaches them life-long habits!)

2. Practise brushing

Using a soft-bristled kid’s brush, encourage your child to practise brushing twice a day by guiding their brushing when they are young, and then helping them to brush on their own as they get older (with adult supervision, of course).

3. Drink lots of water!

Drinking water is a good way to take care of your child’s oral health, as salivating is one active defence against tooth decay.

Drinking plenty of water also washes away any food residue that can cause bacteria, infection, or discolouration.

Ensuring your child stays hydrated can also prevent dry mouth, which can lead to tooth decay.

4. Visit an Armadale dentist

Once your baby’s teeth start to erupt, you should go for a baby checkup at your dentist in Armadale.

When should a child’s first dental visit be?

Your child’s teeth configuration affects their eating and speech habits.

As a general rule of thumb, we suggest booking your child in for their first appointment at our Armadale dentist no later than their first birthday.

Schedule your child’s first dental appointment

Is your baby approaching their first birthday? Book an appointment with Dental Care Group today!

As we always say, good oral hygiene practices should start early!

And outside of the home, one important way to help take care of your child’s oral health is by visiting a dentist in Armadale.

Dental Care Group provides a range of dental treatments for every member of the family, from baby’s first appointment all the way through to parents’ and grandparents’ dental needs.

We provide a gentle and caring approach that can make your visit to the dentist a friendly and exciting one for children. It’s our utmost priority to ensure children feel comfortable and at ease from the moment they step inside our family dental clinic in Armadale.

Armadale dental care helps you as a parent deal with teething, and we are always more than happy to have a conversation with you, answering all your questions and providing tips and advice during this time.

Contact Dental Care Group now on (03) 9509 1500 or schedule an appointment with us online.