Oral care for infants

Generally, teething begins when babies are around 6 to 10 months old. However, some babies start to have their teeth earlier or later. This is determined by hereditary factors, and varies between different people. If your baby still hasn't got his/her first tooth when he/she is 1 year old, you could bring him/her to the dentist for a check-up.

Eruption time of deciduous teeth

Deciduous teeth Eruption time
Central Incisor 6 to 12 months
Lateral Incisor 9 to 16 months
Canine 16 to 23 months
First Molar 13 to 19 months
Second Molar 23 to 33 months
Photograph showing the position of deciduous central incisor, lateral incisor, canine, first premolar and second premolar.

How to manage discomfort arising from teething

  • Drooling

    Wipe your child's mouth frequently to keep his/her mouth clean and dry.

    Photograph of a baby.
  • Gum irritation

    Gum irritation is common during tooth eruption. To relieve the discomfort, your child may like to chew a cool object. You can let your child chew on a liquid-filled teething ring, which should be cleaned and chilled, to reduce the irritation.

    Photograph of two teething rings.
  • Swollen gum

    Swollen gum is normal during tooth eruption and the swollen part is usually firm. However, it is not normal if the swollen gum turns red or blue. In such case, parents must bring their children to see the dentist.

  • Irritable

    Babies are easily irritated during tooth eruption. Parents should spend more time with their children. Playing games with them can distract them from the irritation.

  • Fever

    Tooth eruption will not cause fever. The baby may pick up anything to chew during teething that may increase his chance of getting an infection. If your child has symptoms like fever, runny nose and diarrhea, you should take your child to see a doctor immediately.