If you're looking for a world-class pediatric orthodontist or dentist in the Omaha, NE area, you've come to the right place. At Pedodontics, P.C., we're proud to provide world-class kids orthodontic and dental care to families throughout Omaha and the surrounding areas. At our practice, we strive to maintain a warm and welcoming environment, and our expert team has the knowledge and skill to make every visit to our office a pleasant experience. Unfortunately, though, not every aspect of dental health is pleasant – and if your child is entering the uncomfortable teething years, we're here to help.

What Is Teething?

Teething is the process where the primary (baby) teeth push through the gums and become visible. This typically starts around six to nine months of age, although in some cases, it can start as early as three months or as late as one year. During the teething process, the lower front teeth will usually emerge first, followed by the upper front teeth. For most children, all of the 20 primary teeth will appear by the age of three (check out our Tooth Eruption Chart for more information).

How to Tell If Your Baby Is Teething

There's a reason people call it the "Terrible Twos." Teething is an uncomfortable and sometimes painful process, and your child may display a wide range of symptoms and behaviors while teething. Often, an otherwise-happy baby may turn cranky for no apparent reason – but the truth is, that's all part of the teething process. Thankfully, if you proactively look for signs of teething, you can help manage the discomfort and make the teething process more pleasant for your child. Here are a few of the most common signs that your baby is teething:

  • Uncontrollable drooling
  • Swollen gums
  • A rash on the chin
  • Irritability
  • Frequent crying
  • Lower appetite
  • Biting and gnawing
  • Disrupted sleep patterns

In particular, you'll likely see these signs flare up about four days before the tooth erupts and for three days after it first breaks the surface – but it's possible for teeth to erupt in rapid succession, which may mean the teething period lasts even longer.

How to Care for a Teething Baby

Teething is no fun, but as a parent, there are some things you can do to make the process easier for you and your child. For the most part, the best thing for teething is to apply pressure and cold temperature to the irritating part of the gums. This means you may give your baby any of the following:

  • Wet, cold washcloths
  • Chilled teething rings
  • Chilled pacifiers

It can also help to simply rub your baby's gums with a clean finger, as the pressure can help soothe the pain. While cold temperatures can help with teething, it's important that you never freeze a teething ring and apply it to your baby's mouth. Any frozen object could burn your baby's mouth if left in too long, so it's best to simply chill pacifiers and teething rings in the refrigerator instead of the freezer. Furthermore, never give your baby teething biscuits or cookies: these contain sugar that can damage your baby's teeth and gums, causing problems in their dental development.

Contact Your Omaha Pediatric Dentist & Kids Orthodontist

We hope this information helps you and your baby make it through the teething process, but if you still have questions, we're always happy to answer them! Feel free to call us at (402) 330-5913 with any questions on teething or your child's dental health in general, and don't hesitate to reach out to us at our contact page if you'd like to schedule an appointment with us. We can't wait to hear from you, and we're excited to help your child develop a healthy, beautiful, lifelong smile!