What is teething?

Teething refers to the process when baby’s teeth start to come through their gumline, for the very first time in their lives.

It’s important to monitor and help your baby with this process, as not only could this be uncomfortable for them, but also healthy baby teeth development is crucial for healthy adult teeth development.

When Do Babies Start Teething?

Most babies begin to teethe between 4 and 7 months old, but some start much later and some much earlier. There’s no need to worry if your baby’s teeth come in on another timetable – it can be different for every baby.

Early teething shouldn’t cause problems for your little one unless it affects their feeding. However if your baby does not have any teeth by 12 months old, you should bring them to the paediatric dentist for evaluation. Delayed teething could cause complications such as crooked development of permanent teeth in later stages, as well as dental cavities or tooth decay.

When to Consult a Doctor

What order do baby teeth appear in?

Here’s a rough guide to how babies’ teeth usually emerge:

  • bottom incisors (bottom front teeth) – these are usually the first to come through, usually at around 4 to 7 months
  • top incisors (top front teeth) – these tend to come through at about 6 to 8 months
  • top lateral incisors (either side of the top front teeth) – these come through at around 9 to 11 months
  • bottom lateral incisors (either side of the bottom front teeth) – these come through at around 10 to 12 months
  • first molars (back teeth) – these come through at around 12 to 16 months
  • canines (between the lateral incisors and the first molars) – these come through at around 16 to 20 months
  • second molars – these come through at around 20 to 30 months

Most children will have all of their milk teeth by the time they are between 2 and 3 years old.

Teething symptoms

Baby teeth could emerge with no pain or discomfort at all.

At other times, you may notice:

  • their gum is sore and red where the tooth is coming through
  • they have a mild temperature of less than 38C
  • they have 1 flushed cheek
  • they have a rash on their face
  • they’re rubbing their ear
  • they’re dribbling more than usual
  • they’re gnawing and chewing on things a lot
  • they’re more fretful than usual
  • they’re not sleeping very well

How can I help my teething baby?

Using teethers.

      There’re many types of teethers on the market, but their main function is to let your baby bite on hard textures to stimulate teething and relieve pain.

      Natural teethers such as Teething Biscuits, which are tasteless hard wheat rusks, could be a natural way to help babies with the teething process. These are not meant to be consumed so they don’t interefere with the baby’s normal diet. Rusks with no added sugar or salt are better than sugared biscuits as they reduce risk of dental caries.You could also provide your baby with raw vegetable sticks, bread sticks or fruits after they’re 6 months old. Always supervise your baby in case they choke.

      Plastic or silicone teethers and teething rings could also distract babies from the pain. You could cool these in the fridge, NEVER the freezer, to soothe the gums.

      Paracetamol, ibuprofen

      Paracetamol or ibuprofen can be given to relieve teething symptoms in babies and young children aged 3 months or older. Always follow the instructions that come with the medicine. If you’re not sure, speak to your GP or pharmacist.

      References

      https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/baby/babys-development/teething/baby-teething-symptoms

      https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/baby/babys-development/teething/tips-for-helping-your-teething-baby

      https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/teething.html#:~:text=Teething%20is%20when%20teeth%20first,for%20babies%20and%20their%20parents.

      https://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/teething-symptoms-remedies

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