The one milestone many parents wish they could delay or at least skip to the end immediately, it is teething. Your kid will look adorable when he smiles and shows those two tiny bottom teeth, but the process of getting them is not easy for your baby or for you. The good news is, all the suffering isn’t for nothing. Teething, like crawling, walking and talking, is an important step that shows your child is on the right track developmentally, according to Tanny Josen, D.D.S., a pediatric dentist at Kid Island Dental in Long Island, New York.
When do Babies Start Teething?
A number of babies’ teeth begin to erupt between the ages of 4 to 6 months, though for some it may be earlier or later, as Dr. Josen says. And no matter what Grandma says, when your child’s first tooth pops in, it has nothing to do with smarts.
The age the baby cuts his or her first tooth depends on family history of teething and nothing more. So, if you got your teeth early, your child probably will too. Same thing if you were late.
Typically, the two bottom front teeth (central incisors) are the first to erupt, followed by the four upper front teeth (central and lateral incisors). But variations in the order may occur and doesn’t warrant any concern, Dr. Josen says. Your child should have a full set of primary (baby) teeth by the time he’s almost three.
Teething Milestones Parents Should Expect
Not all babies have teething symptoms. But for babies who aren’t as lucky, the arrival of those tiny teeth can cause a whole lot of misery. “Symptoms a child may have when teething are drooling, which can cause a rash on the chin or face; gum swelling and sensitivity; irritability; biting; or sleep problems,” Dr. Josen says.
Your baby may also rub her face, tug on her ears, or even refuse to eat and drink. Some parents report that their babies suffer from a mild fever, diarrhea, or runny nose, but Dr. Lasky says teething doesn’t cause these symptoms. “Instead, the tiny open wounds in the gums that result from the teeth erupting makes it more likely for the baby to catch a little bug,” she explains.
You can do quite a few things to help your teething baby. Cold will help numb the gums naturally. “I recommend chilling not freezing, a wet washcloth or a toy that you feel comfortable having your baby chew on,” Dr. Lasky says. Make sure the toy is age-appropriate, BPA-free, and nontoxic. If you choose to use a washcloth, chill a few in a plastic food-storage bag so they’ll be on hand when your child needs one.
Rubbing his gums with a clean finger or giving him cold food (like applesauce or pureed fruit) or drinks may also reduce the pain. If nothing is helping, check with your pediatrician, who may recommend that you use an over-the-counter pain reliever for babies, like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Aspirin is off-limits for children because it is associated with Reye’s syndrome, a rare but serious and life-threatening condition.
A couple of pain relief methods you shouldn’t turn to are teethers (also known as teething rings) and topical teething gels. “The teeth could puncture the teether and your baby could ingest the substance inside,” Dr. Lasky says. The FDA warns against using over-the-counter topical numbing preparations because they can be toxic to babies. Symptoms of teething usually disappear when the tooth breaks through the gum.
Signs of Teething
As we have discussed above, teething usually begins around 6 months of age. But it is normal for teething to start at any time between 3 months and 12 months of age. By the time your child is about 3 years old, he or she will have all 20 primary teeth. The lower front teeth usually come in first. Upper front teeth usually come in 1 to 2 months after the lower front teeth.
What are the symptoms?
Some babies are fussier than usual when they are teething. This may be because of soreness and swelling in the gums before a tooth comes through. These symptoms usually begin about 3 to 5 days before the tooth shows, and they disappear as soon as the tooth breaks the skin. Many babies don’t seem to be affected by teething.
Babies may bite on their fingers or toys to help relieve the pressure in their gums. They may also refuse to eat and drink because their mouths hurt. Many babies drool during teething, which can cause a rash on the chin, face, or chest.
Some of the symptoms of teething can be attributed to the dental follicle (sac containing the developing tooth) and the release of inflammatory agents during the tooth eruption.
Teething may cause the following symptoms and signs:
- Increased drooling
- Restlessness or decreased sleeping due to gum discomfort
- Refusal of food due to soreness of the gum region
- Fussiness that comes and goes
- Bringing the hands to the mouth
- Mild rasharound the mouth due to skin irritation secondary to excessive drooling
- Rubbing the cheek or ear region as a consequence of referred pain during eruption of the molars
Teething has not been shown to cause the following:
- High fever(especially over 101 degrees)
- Diarrhea, runny nose, and cough
- Prolonged fussiness
- Rashes on the body
How to help your baby be more comfortable while teething
Here are some tips to help your baby feel better while teething:
- Use a clean finger (or cold teething ring) to gently rub your baby’s gum for about 2 minutes at a time. Many babies find this soothing, although they may protest at first.
- Provide safe objects for your baby to chew on, such as teething rings.
- If needed, give your baby an over-the-counter pain reliever that is labeled for his or her specific age. Read and follow all instructions.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warn against using teething gel on a baby’s gums to reduce pain. The gel can make a baby’s throat numb. This may cause difficulty swallowing. The medicine in the gel may also harm a baby.
Baby teething is a rite of passage for every little one and involves the movement of teeth in and then through the gums. Therefore, it’s no surprise that it can be very painful with some fever for them and, in turn, stressful for you.
But while you are waiting for those white peels to appear, it sometimes feels like every symptom can easily be put down to teething. To help this situation, here is a quick guide of what to expect from a little teether and when it might be a sign that something else is up. Not all babies will have all teething symptoms, and complications.
Increase in your baby’s temperature
A classic symptom of teething is a slightly raised temperature. You may find yourself with a baby thermometer glued to your hand, but it shouldn’t reach 100°F. Excessive dribbling is common, as the gums produce extra saliva to help those teeth come through.
Red in the face
You may find your baby sporting facial rashes and hot little cheeks as a result of all that extra saliva and action going on in their mouths.
Red in the mouth
If you are allowed even a tiny peek in there, you may see signs of sore gums in your baby’s mouth. There may perhaps even be tiny blisters or light bleeding where they have been rubbing to try to ease the pain. It’s thought that loose bowels occur during teething because there’s more saliva passing through their tummies than usual. It is also more acidic than usual, so can result in a very sore bottom.
Chewing everything they can get
Your little one cramming anything they can into their mouth – toy, spoon, and fist? Chewing can temporarily ease the pain of teething, so it’s not surprising. Save your fingers and your car keys with a good teether. It’s likely your baby will go off their food for a while. Just keep their fluids up with lots of water and see if you can tempt them with a nice cold treat, like an ice pop, to soothe those throbbing gums.
Irritable, grumpy and restless and who can blame them? You may find you feel the same, as everyone gets less sleep and your child demands more of you.
As much as the well-meaning around you will put everything down to teething, the next few symptoms can also be a sign of a more serious problem. So, keep your eyes out, trust your instinct and consult a medical professional if you are unsure of any of the following:
Vomiting and diarrhea
This can be an undesirable but natural side effect of all that dribbling, but equally it may be a sign of a stomach infection. If your baby keeps being sick, then consult your doctor.
If your baby keeps grabbing their ear in pain, it could be down to all that movement going on in the jaw. If it carries on, gets worse or seems to affect their hearing though, then your baby may have an ear infection. You’ll need to see your doctor if so.
A temperature of 100°F or above indicates a fever. While a slight rise in temperature is normal as a baby teething symptom, a fever is usually a symptom of another condition so you’ll want to get them checked out by your doctor.
Whilst very common during teething, due to all that excess dribble and mucus running down baby’s throat, if the cough is persistent and accompanied by other symptoms such as a high temperature, you should contact your doctor.
Can a 2 month old baby be teething?
Teething can begin in infants as young as 2 months of age, even though the first tooth usually does not appear until about 6 months of age. Some dentists have noted a family pattern of early, average, or late teethers. Children who have not gotten the first tooth by 18 months should be evaluated by the child’s doctor.
Usually, the first tooth to erupt is one of the lower, central incisors. Some children will have a pattern of serial eruption of their teeth. Others will have multiple dental eruptions at the same time. As the tooth penetrates the gums, the area may appear slightly red or swollen over the tooth. Sometimes a fluid-filled area similar to a blood blister may be seen over the erupting tooth.
Some teeth may be more sensitive than others when they erupt. The first tooth to erupt may be the most sensitive. Sometimes, the larger molars cause more discomfort due to their larger surface area that can’t slice through the gum tissue as an erupting incisor is capable of doing. Most children have a complete set of 20 deciduous teeth (known as baby teeth or milk teeth) by 30 months of age.
Can my baby be teething at 3 months?
Most babies cut their first teeth at about six months; only 1 percent cut their first tooth before 4 months. Parents and pediatricians alike often attribute mild transient symptoms such as irritability to teething, even if teeth don’t appear for months afterwards. Many babies do have mild symptoms when teething, but parents should rule out other illnesses before blaming potentially serious symptoms such as diarrhea on teething.
Teething infants may be more fussy and irritable than usual because of discomfort in the gum above the about-to-erupt tooth. Irritability often begins around four days before the tooth erupts and continues approximately three days after the emergence of the tooth. If your baby is irritable and you can feel the tooth under the gum, if the area looks bumpy, or if the tip of the tooth appears, teething might be causing his irritability.
When your baby’s tooth is about to emerge, he may produce more drool than usual. Although drooling is a normal part of an infant’s development, it sometimes increases with the teething phase. Excessive drool may cause a baby to develop a rash on his chest, neck and chin. Applying a thin layer of petroleum jelly to the susceptible areas helps prevent rashes from developing. Some babies also develop reddened cheeks, unrelated to drooling, while teething.
What can you do when your baby is Teething?
Many parents suspect that teething causes fever and diarrhea, but researchers say this isn’t true. Teething can cause signs and symptoms in the mouth and gums — but not elsewhere in the body.
What’s the best way to soothe sore gums?
If your teething baby seems uncomfortable, consider these simple tips:
- Rub your baby’s gums.Use a clean finger or moistened gauze pad to rub your baby’s gums. The pressure can ease your baby’s discomfort.
- Keep it cool.A cold washcloth, spoon or chilled teething ring can be soothing on a baby’s gums. Don’t give your baby a frozen teething ring, however. Contact with extreme cold can be harmful.
- Try hard foods.If your baby is eating solid foods, you might offer something edible for gnawing — such as a peeled and chilled cucumber or carrot. Keep a close eye on your baby, however. Any pieces that break off might pose a choking hazard.
- Dry the drool.Excessive drooling is part of the teething process. To prevent skin irritation, keep a clean cloth handy to dry your baby’s chin. Consider applying a moisturizer such as a water-based cream or lotion.
- Try an over-the-counter remedy.If your baby is especially cranky, acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or ibuprofen (Advil, Children’s Motrin, others) might help.
Avoid teething medications that contain the pain reliever benzocaine. Benzocaine products have been associated with methemoglobinemia — a rare but serious condition that reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also has recommended that parents not use homeopathic teething gels or tablets, which might pose a health risk to babies.
How long does it take for a baby to Teeth?
Many babies do not sprout their first teeth until they are a year old, so try not to worry if your baby is still giving you gummy smiles. If you still don’t see any sign of a tooth appearing by the time your baby is one year old, mention it at his next check-up. If your baby was before complete maturity, he may start teething a little later.
If your baby has signs of teething, but also seems to be in huge amounts of pain and is crying inconsolably, see your doctor. Teething can be painful, but it shouldn’t be a terrible ordeal for your baby.
How long will my baby have his first teeth for?
Your baby’s milk teeth won’t fall out until his permanent teeth are ready to come through. This will happen when he’s about six years old. Not sure if your baby’s teething yet, you can visit your health care provider who can give you more advice on how to take care of your baby.
How early can a baby start teething?
What you should know is that all babies are different when it comes to this growth process. But your baby will probably get their first tooth some time during their first year. Keep reading to find out how to spot when your baby is teething and what order your baby’s teeth are likely to appear in.
When do babies start teething?
Some babies are born with their first teeth. Others start teething before they are 4 months old, and some after 12 months. But most babies start teething at around 6 months.
Baby teeth sometimes emerge with no pain or discomfort at all. At other times, you may notice that:
- your baby’s gum is sore and red where the tooth is coming through
- one cheek is flushed
- your baby is dribbling more than usual
- they are gnawing and chewing on things a lot
- they are more fretful than usual
Some people think that teething causes other symptoms, such as diarrhea and fever, but there’s no evidence to support this. You know your baby best. If they have any symptoms that are causing you concern, then seek medical advice.
How Long Does Teething Last
Your baby’s teeth will help allow her to eat a well-rounded diet. Without them, she could be stuck eating pureed everything, forever. Tooth eruption means your child is acquiring the ability to tear into meat, bite into a plum, and chew beans, so teething has an indirect effect on her gaining weight, strengthening immunity, and improving bone and brain development.
Your baby’s teeth will help him/her emerging language skills. “As babies acquire teeth and can increasingly bite and chew more textured foods, they are exercising and building the underlying oral-motor musculature for speech development of the jaw, cheeks, tongue, and lips,” says Sherry Artemenko, a speech-language pathologist and founder of Play on Words. Plus, your child will need to use her teeth for developing later sounds.
Baby Teeth Chart
Teeth vary in size, shape and their location in the jaws. These differences enable teeth to work together to help you chew, speak and smile. They also help give your face its shape and form. At birth people usually have 20 baby (primary) teeth, which start to come in (erupt) at about 6 months of age. They fall out (shed) at various times throughout childhood. By age 21, all 32 of the permanent teeth have usually erupted.
- When do babies start teething: http://www.parents.com/baby/health/baby-teeth/when-do-babies-start-teething/
- Teething: http://www.parents.com/baby/health/baby-teeth/when-do-babies-start-teething/
- Teething signs and symptoms: https://www.babycenter.com/0_teething-signs-and-symptoms_10357437.bc
- Baby teething process: https://www.tommeetippee.us/parent-room/is-my-baby-teething
- Signs of teething in a 3 month old baby: http://www.livestrong.com/article/119385-signs-teething-3monthold-baby/
- Infant and toddler health: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/infant-and-toddler-health/in-depth/teething/art-20046378?pg=2
- When will a baby get his first teeth: http://www.babycentre.co.uk/a6574/developmental-milestones-teething
- Eruption charts: http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/e/eruption-charts