When Does Teething Start?
Teething can start in infants as young as 2 months of age, although the first tooth usually does not appear until about 6 months of age. Some dentists have noted a pattern of "early," "average," or "late" teethers. Occasionally, a baby might be already born with one or more teeth. These are called natal teeth. Some babies might also develop neonatal teeth, which means that the tooth emerges within the first 30 days. But these are not very common and mostly depend on parents genetics. Most babies will start to teeth when they are 6 to 12 months old.
Growing teeth is not a competitive sport, and your baby’s teeth will arrive when they’re ready. Don’t be worried if they don’t show up according to schedule, because each child is different.
Teething Symptoms and Signs
Teething may cause a significant discomfort to your child. Most often, the first tooth to appear is one of the lower, central incisors. Some babies will have a pattern of the sequential eruption of their teeth while others will have numerous dental eruptions at the same time. As the tooth penetrates the gums, the area over the tooth might appear slightly red or swollen.
Most common signs of baby teething include the following:
- Sensitive, swollen and tender gums
- More biting - Teething infants may bite on their toys or even fingers to help relieve the pressure they feel on their gums
- Loss of Appetite - Refusing food is another common sign of teething. Because baby’s gums are sore, they refuse some solids they were once enjoying
- Drooling - One of the signs a baby is teething is an increase in drooling.This is very common because the saliva helps to soothe baby's gums, which can be a little comforting
- More sucking - Like biting, this symptom is a result of your baby trying to alleviate the pressure from a tooth that’s about to come up
- Difficulty sleeping - Due to the discomfort from the swelling and soreness, your baby may find it difficult to sleep at night or during naptime
What Can You Do to Help
- Gently rub your baby's gums - Simply use your clean finger to ease your baby's discomfort.
- Offer something cold - Chilled but not frozen is the key to remember when trying to comfort your teething baby. Chill a spoon or wet washcloth in the refrigerator for the child to chew on
- Absorbent bibs - All that drooling can cause painful skin irritation (and a lot of laundry too!) so having some absorbent bibs to hand is always useful. A good quality absorbent bib will protect your babies skin and clothing from the acidic dribble
- Baby teethers - This is probably the best way to deal with painful teething experience. Use solid, silicone-based teething rings or gloves that will gently rub your baby's gums stimulating the pain. Plus, it will be fun for them!
- Daily routine - Keeping baby's schedule of sleeping and eating at similar times every day is also very important
A baby’s first tooth is a milestone in their young life. Even if it doesn't feel very momentous, you will cherish these teething memories when your child gets older. Hang in there, it’s all worthwhile because of your baby’s smile.