Quick Facts About Teething From Our Calgary Dentist.

Quick Facts About Teething From Our Calgary Dentist.

As a parent, watching your baby grow and develop is exciting and joyful and goes by much by too quickly.  As a Calgary dentist, one of the questions Dr. Dirk Thompson is most often asked about babies relates to the development of their teeth, including questions about how to know when a baby is teething, how to soothe a teething baby or toddler, when should baby’s first tooth erupt and how many baby teeth a child should have.  Our Calgary dentist answers these questions and more in today’s blog.


According to our Calgary dentist, most babies will develop their first tooth between the ages of 6 and 12 months, although this range can vary widely.  In fact, some babies do not see any teeth at all by their first birthday, which sometimes precipitates a visit to our Calgary dentist office by concerned parents.  Generally, most babies will develop their first teeth by the time they reach 6 months of age. 

Typically, by the age of 3 years, all of your toddler’s baby teeth will have erupted.  Usually, the first two teeth seen are the lower front teeth (the lower central incisors).  Below is our Calgary dentist’s chart showing the typical date of eruption of baby teeth, as well as the date of loss of baby teeth.  Our Calgary dentist reminds you that this chart is meant to be a guide only; every child’s development is unique and these dates can vary widely.  If you have any concerns about the timing of either the eruption or loss of your toddler’s teeth, do not hesitate to call our Calgary dentist for an appointment so Dr. Dirk Thompson can have a look and ensure that there are no underlying issues that require further investigation.


If your toddler is teething, it is likely that you will know it as, by now, your child can likely communicate to you sufficiently that they are feeling pain or discomfort.  Also, you’ve already seen your toddler go through teething as a baby so you may be able to recognize some of your child’s signs and symptoms that they are teething.

With babies, however, knowing that they are teething is a little more tricky because they can’t communicate with you that they are uncomfortable or feeling unwell.  According to our Calgary dentist, Dr. Dirk Thompson, some of the more common signs and symptoms that your baby is teething can include the following:

  • A slightly elevated temperature. Our Calgary dentist advises parents, however, that a fever above 100.4 Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius is generally not associated with teething.  If your child does a have a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius or higher, this could be a sign of illness or infection and you should consult your family physician or pediatrician as soon as possible.
  • Drooling more than usual
  • Swollen and tender gums in the area where the tooth is erupting
  • Unusual fussiness or crying
  • Chewing/biting on fingers or other objects
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Pulling on ears or cheeks


Fortunately, most babies do not experience significant discomfort or pain when teething.  Some babies, however, do experience some mild to moderate discomfort when teething, and our Calgary dentist has some tips and tricks that can help soothe some of this discomfort:

  • With clean or gloved fingers, massage your baby’s gums.
  • Give your baby a solid-filled teething ring (not a liquid filled ring).
  • Give your baby a clean, frozen washcloth or a wet washcloth to chew on.
  • Give your baby a teething biscuit.  If you choose this option, our Calgary dentist reminds you to always supervise your baby as bits of the biscuit can break off, creating a choking hazard for your baby.  Of course, our Calgary dentist also reminds you to be aware of the sugar content in these biscuits, which are definitely not good for your wee one’s teeth!
  • If you feel it is absolutely necessary, give your baby a weight-appropriate dosage of acetaminophen or, if your baby is over 6 months of age, ibuprofen.  Before providing any of these medications to your child, however, be sure to discuss the pros and cons of doing so as well as the proper dosage in milliliters (mL) with your physician, pediatrician or your pharmacist.


Our Calgary dentist advises that you should NOT give your baby or toddler any teething gels or teething tablets, particularly without first checking with your Calgary dentist or pediatrician as there have been reports of potential adverse side effects with some of these products.  You should also never put a teething necklace on or give your baby a teething necklace as they can be a strangulation or choking hazard.

One of the best things you can do to ensure that your baby’s smile has the best possible start is to brush their teeth at least twice per day as soon as their first tooth erupts.  Once they have two teeth that are adjacent to each other, you should also gently floss their teeth once per day.  Also, as recommended by the Canadian Dental Association, be sure to make an appointment for your baby with our Calgary dentist within six months of baby’s first tooth eruption or by the time they are one year old.

If you have any questions or concerns about your baby’s dental health, we invite you to call our Calgary dental office to make an appointment with our Calgary dentist or one of our dental hygienists.  We always love seeing children and, to make your child’s visits with our dental office extra fun and special, we have an awesome toy box for them to pick a toy from at the end of their visit!  Call us for your child’s dental appointment today.  Together, we can make their smile last a lifetime!

This blog post written by our Calgary dentist, Dr. Dirk Thompson, D.D.S., is for informational purposes only.  It is not to be taken or used as a substitute for dental, medical or other professional advice, treatment or diagnosis.  Always ask your dentist, physician or other healthcare professional for advice before altering your diet or healthcare routine.  Individual patient needs and oral healthcare concerns vary so please consult your dentist for more information about your specific dental health requirements.

Copyright 2021: Dirk A. Thompson Professional Corporation operating as Advance Your Health Dental.  Dr. Dirk A. Thompson, D.D.S., is a general dentist in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.


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