Help Me Grow | United Way of Utah County

Tips for Teething and Oral Hygiene

There is arguably nothing cuter than a baby’s gummy, ear-to-ear grin…until they get two little teeth in the front, then it’s game over. But that extreme level of cuteness doesn’t come without a price, especially on baby’s end. Fussiness, swollen gums, sleeplessness, and even a fever are just some symptoms your baby will express when teething begins. Teething usually begins around age 4-6 months, and by 3 years old your child should have a full set of primary (baby) teeth. Here are some tips and tricks to help ease your baby’s teething aches and pains once they reach that stage.

Gum Massage With clean hands, gently rub your baby’s gums where swollen. A little bit of counterpressure in
the spot where a tooth is emerging may be just the thing to help soothe your baby.
Cold Washcloth A frozen or chilled washcloth for baby to gnaw on is also a helpful trick. Moisten the cloth in water (breast milk also works) and chill (or freeze) and then give to baby. The cool cloth will help comfort baby and soothe the ache. If your baby has started eating solids, chilled baby food may also be something to try!
Teethers Silicone, rubber, or even wooden teethers are popular solutions for teething babies. Try putting a silicone or rubber teether in the fridge to chill for some extra relief for those swollen gums!
For other teething tips and tricks, you can visit this article from for other teething remedies.

From gummy smiles to two-toothed toddlers, once your baby gets a set of teeth, it’s important to teach and encourage healthy oral hygiene habits. The phrase “start ’em young” has never been more true! Caring for your child’s baby teeth is key to ensuring their adult teeth are also healthy. You can keep your baby’s gums healthy by gently rubbing them with a soft washcloth. You can also help your baby get used to the feeling of a toothbrush by using a small baby toothbrush that fits over your finger. Another thing babies love is to have a toothbrush to chew on and explore. Be sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush, this is a great way to help them get accustomed to the bristly texture in their mouth.

You can start using fluoridated toothpaste starting at age 2, and make sure you follow up with how thorough your child brushes. It doesn’t matter whether you choose to floss or brush first, just make sure both get done. Set a two minute timer with your kiddo, have a mini dance party, or create your own creative game to make teeth-brushing time a little more exciting. And most importantly, take advantage of any moment and turn it into a memory. Those little ones grow up fast! Oral-B has some other excellent tips for how and when to start brushing your baby’s teeth, and what techniques and products to use. And here at Help Me Grow, we can help refer you to dentists within your community to best fit your needs. Happy brushing!

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