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When Do Babies Start Teething: An Inclusive Guide for Parents

Babies typically start teething between the ages of 4 and 7 months old, although it is not uncommon for some to start earlier or later. Teething is the process of a baby's teeth breaking through their gums, which can cause discomfort and pain for the baby. It is important for parents and caregivers to be aware of the signs of teething so they can provide comfort and relief to the baby.

When Do Babies Start Teething

During teething, babies may experience symptoms such as drooling, irritability, biting, and crying. They may also have swollen or tender gums, and may be more prone to putting objects in their mouths. It is important to note that not all babies experience the same symptoms during teething, and some may not experience any symptoms at all.


Teething can be a difficult time for both babies and their caregivers, but there are ways to ease the discomfort. Providing a chilled teething ring or wet washcloth for the baby to chew on can help soothe their gums. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can also be used, but it is important to consult with a pediatrician before giving any medication to a baby.


Understanding the Teething Process


Teething is a natural process that all babies go through. It is the process of teeth growing and breaking through the gums. This process can be uncomfortable for babies and can cause them to be irritable and fussy. It is important for parents to understand the teething process so they can help their baby through this stage.


Teething Timeline


The timeline for teething can vary from baby to baby. teething often starts when babies are between 6 and 12 months old, though in some cases those first teeth may appear earlier or even a little later. In some very rare cases, newborns may be born with a tooth already erupted, or have a tooth come through in the first few weeks.


The teething timeline typically follows a pattern, with the two bottom front teeth (central incisors) appearing first, followed by the top front teeth (central incisors). The lateral incisors, which are located next to the central incisors, usually come in next, followed by the first molars, canines, and finally the second molars.


Teething Milestones


The eruption of baby teeth is a gradual process that can take up to two years to complete. The teething process can be divided into several milestones:

  • Baby's first tooth: The first tooth usually appears between 4 and 7 months of age, but it can appear as early as 3 months or as late as 12 months.

  • Central incisors: The two bottom front teeth usually appear first, followed by the two top front teeth.

  • Lateral incisors: The teeth next to the central incisors usually appear next.

  • First molars: The first molars usually appear between 12 and 16 months of age.

  • Canines: The canines usually appear between 16 and 20 months of age.

  • Second molars: The second molars usually appear between 20 and 30 months of age.

It is important for parents to note that the teething process can be uncomfortable for babies and can cause them to be irritable and fussy. Parents can help their baby through this stage by providing teething toys, massaging their baby's gums, and giving them a cold washcloth to chew on. If the baby is experiencing significant discomfort, parents should consult with their pediatrician for advice on pain relief options.



Baby Teething Development Chart

Tooth

Average Age of Eruption

Lower Central Incisors (Bottom Front Teeth)

​6-10 months

Upper Central Incisors (Top Front Teeth)

8-12 months

Upper Lateral Incisors (Top Teeth Next to Front Ones)

9-13 months

Lower Lateral Incisors (Bottom Teeth Next to Front Ones)

10-16 months

First Molars (Back Teeth)

13-19 months

Canine Teeth (Cuspids or "Fangs")

16-22 months

Second Molars

23-31 months


Recognizing Teething Symptoms


Teething is a natural process that babies go through as their teeth cut through their gums. It can be a difficult time for both the baby and the parents. Recognizing the symptoms of teething can help parents provide their baby with the necessary comfort and care during this time.


Physical Symptoms


One of the most common physical symptoms of teething is sore gums. Babies may experience swollen and tender gums, which can cause discomfort and pain. They may also have a slight increase in temperature, but it is usually not high enough to be considered a fever. Some babies may develop a rash around their mouth due to excessive drooling.


Behavioral Symptoms


Teething can also cause behavioral symptoms in babies. They may become irritable and cranky, and cry more than usual. They may also have trouble sleeping and eating due to the discomfort caused by their sore gums. Excessive drooling can cause skin irritation around the mouth, chin, and neck.


It is important to note that not all babies experience the same teething symptoms. Some babies may show no signs of discomfort while others may experience a combination of symptoms. If a baby has diarrhea or a high fever, it is important to consult a pediatrician as these symptoms are not typically associated with teething.


Overall, recognizing the signs and symptoms of teething can help parents provide their baby with the necessary comfort and care during this time.



Soothing a Teething Baby


Teething can be a difficult time for babies and their parents. Babies can become irritable, fussy, and have trouble sleeping. Fortunately, there are a few things that parents can do to help soothe their teething baby.


Home Remedies


Home remedies can be an effective way to soothe a teething baby. One of the easiest things to do is to give them something to chew on. Babies love to chew, and it can help relieve the pressure on their gums. Parents can give their baby a teething ring or a rubber teething toy to chew on. These toys are designed to be easy to hold and safe for babies to chew on.


Another home remedy is to give the baby a cold washcloth to chew on. The cold can help numb the gums and relieve the pain. Parents can also try rubbing the baby's gums with a clean finger or a small, soft-bristled toothbrush. This can help relieve the pressure and provide some relief.


Teething Aids


There are also a few teething aids that parents can use to help soothe their teething baby. One of the most popular is an amber teething necklace. The necklace is made from Baltic amber, which is believed to have natural pain-relieving properties. The necklace is worn around the baby's neck and is said to help reduce teething pain.


Another teething aid is a teething gel. This gel can be applied directly to the baby's gums and can help numb the area and provide some relief. It is important to use a gel that is specifically designed for babies and to follow the instructions carefully.


Finally, parents can try giving their baby a gum massage. This involves gently massaging the baby's gums with a clean finger or a small, soft-bristled toothbrush. This can help relieve the pressure and provide some relief.


Overall, there are many ways that parents can help soothe their teething baby. Whether it's through home remedies or teething aids, there are plenty of options to choose from. By providing their baby with something to chew on, a cold washcloth, or a gum massage, parents can help relieve the pain and discomfort of teething.


Teething Toys


Provide safe teething toys or rings for your baby to chew on. These toys are designed to be safe for babies to gnaw on, providing a satisfying counter-pressure to their gums.


Medical and Dental Approaches


Medications


When a baby is teething, they may experience discomfort and pain. In such cases, parents can use over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen to alleviate the pain. However, it is important to consult a doctor before giving any medication to a baby. The doctor can recommend the appropriate dosage based on the baby's age and weight.


Dental Care


According to the American Dental Association (ADA), parents should start taking care of their baby's oral health even before the first tooth appears. This involves wiping the baby's gums with a clean, damp cloth after feeding. Once the first tooth appears, parents can start using a small, soft-bristled toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste to brush the baby's teeth twice a day.


Pediatric dentists recommend that parents take their child for their first dental checkup by the time they turn one year old. Regular dental checkups can help prevent tooth decay and other dental problems. During a dental checkup, the dentist can also provide advice on how to maintain good oral health for the baby.


In addition to regular dental checkups, parents should also encourage healthy eating habits in their child. Foods that are high in sugar can lead to tooth decay and other dental problems. Parents can also limit the intake of sugary drinks like juice and soda, and encourage their child to drink water instead.


Overall, taking care of a baby's oral health is important for their overall health and well-being. By following the recommendations of the American Dental Association and pediatric dentists, parents can help ensure that their child has healthy teeth and gums.



Safety and Precautions


When babies start teething, parents should take certain precautions to ensure their little ones are safe and comfortable. Here are some important safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Avoid teething necklaces and bracelets: Teething jewelry can pose a choking or strangulation hazard. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry advises against using teething necklaces and bracelets.

  • Stay away from homeopathic teething tablets: The FDA has warned against using homeopathic teething tablets, which may contain belladonna, a toxic substance that can cause seizures and other serious side effects.

  • Be cautious with topical gels and lidocaine: While some topical gels and lidocaine products may help ease teething discomfort, they can also be dangerous if used incorrectly. Always follow the instructions carefully, and talk to a pediatrician before using any medication or product on your baby's gums.

  • Watch out for choking hazards: As babies begin to bite and chew on objects, make sure they're not putting anything in their mouths that could pose a choking hazard, such as small toys or food.

  • Pay attention to signs of discomfort: Teething can be uncomfortable for babies, but if your little one is refusing to eat or seems to be in a lot of pain, it's important to talk to a pediatrician to rule out any other underlying issues.

  • Schedule a first dentist visit: The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children have their first dental visit by their first birthday or within six months of their first tooth coming in. This can help catch any potential dental issues early on.

By following these safety tips and keeping a watchful eye on your little one, you can help ensure that the teething process goes as smoothly as possible.


Frequently Asked Questions


What are the symptoms of a teething baby?


Teething can cause a variety of symptoms, including fussiness, drooling, and irritability. Babies may also experience swollen or tender gums, and they may try to bite or chew on objects to relieve discomfort. Some babies may also develop a low-grade fever or experience changes in their sleeping or eating patterns during teething.


How long does teething last?


Teething can last for several months, with some babies starting as early as 2-3 months and others not starting until after 6 months. The process of teething can take up to a year or more, as babies typically get their first set of teeth in stages.


What can I do to help my teething baby?


There are several things parents can do to help their teething baby feel more comfortable. Offering teething toys, such as rubber rings or cold washcloths, can help soothe sore gums. Massaging the gums with a clean finger or a small, soft-bristled brush can also provide relief. Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, may be recommended by a pediatrician for more severe discomfort.


Can babies start teething at 2 or 3 months?


Yes, it is possible for babies to start teething as early as 2 or 3 months. However, most babies begin teething between 4 and 7 months of age. The timing of teething can vary widely between babies, and some may not start teething until after their first birthday.


What does the first stage of teething look like?


The first stage of teething typically involves the lower front teeth, which can cause swelling and tenderness in the gums. Parents may notice their baby drooling more than usual and trying to bite or chew on objects to relieve discomfort. The first teeth usually appear as small, white bumps on the gums.


Why is my baby chewing on their hands and drooling?


Chewing on their hands and drooling can be a sign that a baby is teething. Babies may try to bite or chew on objects to relieve discomfort in their gums. Excessive drooling is also common during teething, as the increased saliva production can help soothe sore gums.

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