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Typical Level of Urgency:


Teeth erupting can be a big disruption to life, even though it is a completely normal process. Research shows that properly cleaned mouths have less pain associated with teeth. The first tooth typically erupts around 6 months of age, and can sometimes even make the gum tissue appear blue/purple (called an eruption "hematoma" or bruise) with the last baby tooth erupting somewhere around 24-36 months of age. There typically are 20 baby teeth, and so sometimes it feels like teething will never end - but these growing pains are temporary.

To alleviate baby tooth eruption pain, we recommend proper brushing by an adult to keep away bacteria, cold teething toys, and over-the-counter pain reliever as your pediatrician allows. We want parents to avoid topical anesthetics and homeopathic teething chews as both have been associated with toxicity reports in young children. In addition, teething necklaces can be a choking hazard, so please be aware of that risk.

Teething may result in a slight elevation in temperature, but if the temperature heads above 100 degrees, other medical issues should be ruled out as young children are susceptible to infections. Be aware that sometimes teething pain occurs at the same time as other health issues that can mimic teething syndrome (such as ear infections, etc). All issues need to be addressed and investigated as young babies and children may not be able to easily communicate the discomfort well.

Adult teeth start erupting typically around age 6-7 years of age. Since there are 28-32 adult teeth, the baby teeth will slowly be replaced by adult teeth, although there will be additional adult molars that erupt behind the baby teeth. These molars erupt around ages 6 (1st molars), 12 (2nd molars), and 18-21 (wisdom teeth). While adult teeth typically do not cause the same type of teething pain as baby teeth, it can be uncomfortable if a child gets something stuck in the erupting tooth's gum, such as a popcorn kernel or if there is significant dental crowding.

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