car seat safety checks in Blacksburg va pediatric dental careYou've made it through the long nights of multiple feedings and diaper changes, now comes teething. No one likes to see their little one in pain. Since teething first begins beneath the gums, it often takes a while to even know the cause of their discomfort. New Beginnings Pediatrics in Blacksburg, Virginia shares some ways you can help with your baby's pediatric dental care and help your baby's smile breakthrough as painlessly as possible. 

What is happening?

Around six months of age (although earlier or later in some children), the bottom front two teeth begin breaking through the gum line. Teething pain mainly occurs due to the pressure of the tooth pushing through the gum, preparing to emerge. If the tooth is still below the gum, how can you know your baby's pain is caused by teething?


Common signs of teething, even before the eruption.
  • Biting
  • Low-grade fever
  • Irritability
  • Drooling
  • Swollen gums
  • Pulling on ears
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Bleeding from the gums

What can you do?

Start a dental hygiene routine early.

Start from day one with good dental hygiene. Before teeth appear, clean the gums with a cloth and water to prevent milk from sitting on the gums for long periods of time. After teeth erupt, a soft toothbrush of appropriate size can be used but only without toothpaste until two years of age. A dental professional can help you develop a brushing and flossing routine appropriate each step of the way as your child grows. 

Provide soothing comfort

  • Be cool. Providing a cool or frozen cloth, chilled foods (age appropriate), and chilled teething toys will feel good on swollen gums and help reduce swelling.
  • Give a massage. A massage feels good when you are sore. It is also soothing for a baby's gums.  A clean finger used to massage the gums gently can provide some relief. 
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers. Pain relievers can help if your baby is particularly fussy; however, make sure to use them as directed and consult with your baby's dentists or pediatrician if you aren't 100% certain on appropriate dosage based on age. 

 When should dental visits begin?

There are many reasons to begin pediatric dental visits as early as the first teething symptoms and no later than one year of age. 
  • Relationship building. Building a relationship with your child's dentist early is essential for both you and your baby to prevent future dental office visit apprehension. 
  • Teething concerns. While teething is a natural part of the process to a great smile, problems can arise. If you notice more than a few spots of blood, a blister, or a hematoma related to eruption, you should arrange a dental appointment immediately. 
  • Tooth decay. The risk of tooth decay begins with the first tooth. Your dentist can discuss preventative techniques and look for beginning signs of tooth decay.
  • Building a roadmap. Healthy teeth and gums can help prevent issues with speech delays and other potential medical concerns. Dental professionals can also detect problems early and provide intervention. Building a roadmap for your child's health involves more than just a path to a sparkling smile.
Working together, you and your pediatric dentist can see your baby safely through the teething rite of passage into a beautiful, healthy smile for years to come. If you’d like recommendations for pediatric dental care or want to schedule an appointment for your child with New Beginnings Pediatrics, call us at (540) 739-3623! We can’t wait to meet you!