It’s important to remember that every baby is unique when it comes to teething. A baby’s first tooth isn’t guaranteed until after the first year, but it’s likely to come in during that time.
Learn the telltale signs that your baby is teething and the expected timing of their primary teeth.
What Age Do Babies Usually Start Teething?
Symptoms of teething often begin a few days before a tooth actually emerges. The first tooth can come in anywhere from 4 months to 10 months, but most babies get their first tooth around 6 months. A number of dentists have discovered a generational trend of “early,” “average,” or “late” teethers within families.
The presence of a tooth at the time of birth is an uncommon event known as “natal” teeth. About one in every 2,000–3,000 births is affected by this condition. This single, frequently abnormally shaped tooth typically appears in an otherwise healthy child. It is extremely uncommon for the presence of a natal tooth to be the only unusual physical finding that constitutes a syndrome.
A pediatric dentist and/or a biologist should be consulted if the presence of symptoms suggests a syndrome. Because of the potential for aspiration into the lungs, the natal tooth is typically extracted before the baby leaves the hospital.
Causes and Symptoms of Teething
- Babies and young children who are teething may have an increased urge to gnaw and drool. However, some infants experience no discomfort whatsoever during this time.
- Some people only have short bouts of irritability, while others seem perpetually irritable for weeks at a time, experiencing crying jags and changes in their eating and sleeping habits. Babies often cry when teething, but if yours seems especially irritable, you should consult a pediatrician.
- Your baby may have a slightly elevated temperature due to teething-related gum tenderness and swelling, but high fever and diarrhea are not common side effects. If your baby develops a fever while teething, it’s likely not due to the teething itself and you should see a doctor.
Providing comfort for your teething infant
- Although teething is a normal part of development, there are ways to ease your baby’s discomfort. A wet washcloth, a clean finger, or a specialized gum-rubbing finger pad can all be used to massage your child’s gums.
- The use of teething rings is also common. These can be used to help soothe teething infants. It’s best to refrigerate a teething ring before using it. This has the dual benefits of applying pressure to the gums and being pleasantly cold. Avoid freezing the ring, as doing so could cause it to crack and the baby to choke.
- Introduce firmer foods such as chilled fruits and vegetables to your baby’s diet as they get older. This is a huge milestone that may also ease the pain associated with teething. Remember to always be close by so you can keep an eye on what the kid is chewing to make sure he or she doesn’t choke.
- A baby’s constant drooling during teething can be irritating to their skin. Keep your baby’s chin as dry as possible by using a bib.
- Soothing effects from prescribed drugs. Give your baby infant acetaminophen if they’re in obvious pain. If your baby is teething, you can also use a teething gel. Keep away from choline salicylate and benzocaine-containing gels, though. Because they lower blood oxygen levels, these should not be used on infants. The relief from teething gels is temporary, at best.
How do I ensure my baby’s teeth develop properly?
Long-term dental health depends on how well you care for and clean your baby’s teeth now. Regardless, the primary molars will eventually be lost, and decay will hasten the process, leaving gaps before the permanent molars are ready to erupt. Permanent teeth may erupt crooked and out of place if the remaining primary teeth crowd together to fill the gaps.
- You should start brushing your baby’s teeth every day well before he or she gets their first tooth. Keep your baby’s gums healthy by wiping them with a damp washcloth or gauze on a daily basis or by brushing them gently with a soft, baby toothbrush and water (no toothpaste!).
- You should start brushing your baby’s teeth as soon as the first one comes in, using a very small amount of fluoride toothpaste and plenty of water.
- Once a child reaches the age of 3 or is able to spit out the toothpaste, you can use it a bit more. Select one that contains fluoride, and give infants and toddlers only a pea-sized amount at a time. Too much fluoride can be harmful to children, so make sure they don’t eat their toothpaste straight from the tube.
- When your baby’s first tooth erupts, you should brush it at least twice a day, preferably right after eating. The habit of flossing should be instilled in young children as early as possible.
- One more essential piece of advice for warding off cavities: The bottle should not be used to put your baby to sleep. Plaque and tooth decay can be caused by milk or juice pooling in a baby’s mouth.
Early childhood is a time of great change, and one of those changes is the appearance of teeth. Parents often experience anxiety because of the pain and discomfort associated with childbirth. The discomfort of teething is temporary, and you can rest assured that your child’s teeth will develop normally. Talk to your kid’s pediatrician if they’re experiencing any unusual symptoms or pain that won’t go away.
1. How does teething affect toddlers?
Symptoms of teething range from mild irritability to mild fever to mild diarrhea to increased biting and gum-rubbing to even ear-rubbing.
2. How long do a toddler’s teething pains typically last?
Your baby will only experience discomfort when a tooth is about to erupt through the gum. Typically, a child will experience discomfort for no more than 8 days.
3. How does teething affect a child’s ability to sleep?
If you notice your baby is showing signs of discomfort or pain around the time a tooth emerges, you may want to consider seeking medical attention. Your infant may have a temporary increase in crying and difficulty sleeping and eating.