Your baby's first tooth usually breaks through the gum (erupts) at about 6 months. Many times you might not know that your baby has a new tooth coming in until you see it or hear it click against an object, such as a spoon. Some babies may show signs of discomfort from sore and sensitive gums, be cranky, drool, and have other mild symptoms. These symptoms usually begin about 3 to 5 days before a tooth erupts and go away as soon as the tooth breaks through the gum. For more information, see the topic Teething.
Experts recommend that your child's visits to a dentist start within 6 months after the first teeth appear or at 12 months of age, whichever comes first.footnote 1 Babies with dental problems caused by injury, disease, or a developmental problem should be seen by a dentist right away. A children's dentist (pediatric dentist) is specially trained to treat these problems. If these dental problems are not limited to the surfaces of the teeth, your baby should also be seen by a children's doctor (pediatrician) or your family doctor. For more information, see the topics Mouth and Dental Injuries and Mouth Problems, Non-injury.
Here are good habits for your child's dental health.
Keep your child away from cigarette smoke (second-hand smoke). Tobacco smoke may contribute to the development of tooth decay and gum disease.footnote 2
Canadian Dental Association (2005, reaffirmed 2012). CDA position on first visit to the dentist. Canadian Diabetes Association. Available online: http://www.cda-adc.ca/_files/position_statements/firstVisit.pdf. Accessed November 11, 2014.
American Dental Association (2009). ADA policy on cigarettes and other tobacco products . Available online: http://www.ada.org/news/929.aspx.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineMartin J. Gabica, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerArden Christen, DDS, MSD, MA, FACD - Dentistry
Current as ofFebruary 6, 2018
Current as of: February 6, 2018
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
& Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & Arden Christen, DDS, MSD, MA, FACD - Dentistry
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