When Do Babies Start Teething?

image001Teething can be very frustrating for children and parents alike. Your babies’ teeth may grow in with no problems while others may find it to be very painful and tedious. Your child may experience sleeplessness, swollen gums, heavy drooling, biting, inconsistent feeding or grumpiness as their first teeth prepare to descend. Knowing when do babies start teething and understanding its process and symptoms can help you learn what you can do to make it less painful.

When Do Babies Start Teething?

Most babies start teething between 4-7 months. Early developing babies may see their first white cap at around 3 months but late bloomers may not start to get teeth until they are over a year old. Whenever the first tooth appears it is worth being celebrated as a milestone.

Teeth actually begin to develop when the baby is still in the womb, as teeth buds form within the gums. Over time the teeth will break through the gum line so that they are visible. These teeth can appear in any order but commonly start with the middle two bottom teeth, middle top teeth and then along the sides and back. These teeth may not come in straight but usually start to straighten over time. Molars at the back of the mouth usually start to appear around age two. Your child should have a full set of 20 teeth by age three and these should remain in place until their permanent teeth start to grow in around age six. Click here to learn all about baby teething: what teeth come out at what age. 

What Are the Symptoms of Teething?

Symptoms of teething may start to appear 2-3 months before your baby starts to sprout teeth, though the severity of symptoms will vary greatly from child to child.

Symptoms

Descriptions

Gnawing on objects

Many begin with gnawing on you or objects they are holding. This is a sign that your child is trying to relieve the pressure under their gums.

Refusing to eat

Your child may also refuse to eat if the pain or pressure of their teeth growing in is too difficult to bear. Keep trying to feed your child and call your pediatrician if your child refuses to eat for a few days.

Fussing at night

You may find that babies also fuss at night when their mouths are sore from teething. This is particularly common when your baby is cutting their first tooth.

Drooling

Another common symptom of teething is drooling. You may find that you need to keep a bib on your child constantly and wipe their face clean to prevent chafing. Moisturizer can be applied to you and your baby’s skins if this moisture is causing discomfort. As long as your child is not gagging or coughing due to pooling saliva, drooling is not dangerous.

You may also find placing absorbent sheets in their bed to be helpful in rash prevention.

Home Remedies for Teething Pain

Remedies

Descriptions

Give babies teething toys

Babies that are teething will love to chew because this provides a counter pressure which will relieve some of the ache of teeth pushing through the gums. Teething toys are specifically designed to address this need. Icy or cold objects are also helpful for teething because the cold can help to numb sore gums.

Use your finger to rub babies’ gums

Using your finger to rub the child’s gums can also provide counter pressure for teethers. Your child may find this uncomfortable at first but eventually it will provide some relief.

Give babies cold drinks

Cold drinks can be provided to children over six months of age to help numb their gums. If your child does not want to suck on a bottle, give them some cold water in a cup.

Introduce chilled food to babies

Chilled food can also provide some relief during teething. Introduce foods such as yogurt, applesauce or blended peaches to your child.

Talk to a pediatrician

 

If none of these remedies provide relief, topical pain relievers or baby strength acetaminophen can help ease the pain. Talk to your child’s pediatrician about what remedies might be appropriate for your child.

Please see this video to get more information about baby teething basics:

Dental Care for Your Teething Baby 

You will need to provide proper care for your child’s teeth in order to ensure dental health.

  • Wipe Your Babies’ Gums

 Even though the first set of teeth is designed to fall out in a few years, tooth decay can harm your child’s gum line before permanent teeth can grow in, causing teeth to crowd and grow in out of place. Even before teeth grow in you should wipe your child’s gums with gauze or a damp washcloth or gently use an infant toothbrush with water. When the first teeth appear, continue to clean them with water.

  • Know When to Use Toothpaste

It is safe to start using toothpaste as soon as your child is able to spit it out. This is usually around 3 years old. Do not use fluoride toothpaste and supervise brushing to avoid problems. When the teeth start to touch, you can introduce flossing into your routine, but talk to your dentist about the proper methods for doing so.

  • Avoid Tooth Decay 

Avoid leaving them alone with substances that could harm their teeth. This includes not allowing your child to fall asleep with a bottle as this could allow sugary liquids to pool against the teeth and cause decay.

 

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