When Will My Child Get Their First Tooth?

Baby first tooth Hudsonville MI pediatric dentist


There are so many firsts when it comes to parenting. First word, first step, and the list goes on. But what about your child’s first tooth? Knowing the general timeframe for this milestone can help you care for their growing smile and plan out their initial trip to see our Hudsonville pediatric dentist

Here are a few ways to tell when the first tooth is coming in and how you can help your child feel most comfortable throughout the teething process.

Common Signs of Incoming Teeth

Every baby is unique and may develop at slightly different points. However, on average, most babies start teething between 3 and 9 months. Teething symptoms during this time can be more intense or nonexistent depending on your child.

When baby teeth make their way through the gums, your child may:

  • Drool excessively 
  • Have swollen gum tissue
  • Touch or rub their face often
  • Not feel like eating
  • Feel cranky or irritable
  • Struggle to sleep well

As your child’s primary teeth start to emerge, our pediatric dentist recommends that you bring them in for an infant oral health exam. This way we can gently examine their mouth and make sure there are no immediate causes for concern. We can also offer tips for soothing sore gums, how to brush before teeth, and when it’s time to teach oral hygiene habits.

How to Help Your Baby With Teething

With teething comes some discomfort for your child. To help with soreness, you can try a few different methods. You may find that one approach is better than others for your child so feel free to go with what works! 

Overall, our pediatric dentist recommends using distractions to your advantage. For example, place something cold in your child’s mouth, i.e., a cold pacifier, spoon, or teething ring. The lower temperature will take their mind off the pain and help to ease their tender gums.

If they just need to chew, bumpy rubber teething toys or a wet washcloth will do the trick. A finger slip toothbrush can also be used to massage sore gum tissue. Whatever you use, make sure your child does not gnaw on anything too small to avoid the possibility of choking.

Oral Care Before & After the First Tooth

Many parents think that oral care only begins once their child has teeth. In reality, you can start keeping their gums healthy well before teeth have erupted. Our pediatric dentist recommends using a soft, moistened cloth or piece of gauze for gentle cleaning after meals and prior to bedtime. 

You can also use a silicone finger slip toothbrush to move along the gums and fight bacterial growth. Your baby will likely love how the texture of the finger cover feels in their mouth which is a bonus. Once teeth start to show, you can swap out this tool for a small toothbrush and an age-appropriate amount of fluoride toothpaste.

The recommended toothbrush styles depending on the age of your child are:

  • 0-3: silicone finger slip toothbrush once teeth begin to erupt. After age 1, parents can use a soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head
  • 3-5: kid-sized toothbrush; typically, one with a larger handle that’s easy to hold
  • 6-9: kid-sized toothbrush: one with a slimmer handle than those for toddlers
  • 10+: adult sized toothbrush

Fluoride is safe for children but it’s important to monitor the amount of toothpaste given to your child. For kids under 3, only use a small smear of toothpaste that’s equal to a grain of rice. They should not graduate to a pea-sized amount until they are between 3 and 6 years old. 

Start Their Smile Right With Our Pediatric Dentist

Watching your child’s smile develop is special which is why it’s so crucial to do what you can to keep it healthy. Our pediatric dentist in Hudsonville, MI, recommends bringing your child in for an exam by the time their first tooth appears or they turn 1. Call Hudsonville Dental Kids today at (616) 209-4039 to schedule an appointment!