When do babies start teething?
When do babies start teething? This is probably one of the most frequently asked questions by a mother of a six-month old baby. Every baby is unique and different. Some babies start teething earlier than others. Other babies start teething later than average. Most babies start teething when they are about six months. If your six-month old baby doesn’t start teething yet, you must not worry too much. And you do not need to worry either if your baby starts teething when he is only 4 months old. If your 12-month baby doesn’t show any signs of teething, it is better for you to call a pediatrician.
Baby’s teething process and when do babies start teething
Babies’ teeth actually start to develop when they are still in the womb. These little teeth are hidden in the babies’ gum until your baby start teething. These deciduous or milk teeth will start to break through the baby’s gum when he is six months old or so. The timing of this process is different between one baby and another. According to experts, the first teething signs show when a baby is between 3 and 12 months old. Your baby will experience teething until they are around 3 years old. By this time, he will have 20 teeth.
Baby’s teething stage
Here are the common babies’ teething stages:
– A set of lower front teeth or lower incisors
These teeth start to appear when babies are between 5 and 7 months old.
– A set of upper front teeth or top incisors
They start to show when babies are between 6 and 8 months old.
– Both sides of top front teeth or upper lateral incisors
They start break through the gum when babies are 9 to 11 months old.
– Both sides of lower front teeth or lower lateral incisors
These teeth start to show when babies are 10 to 12 months old.
– First back teeth (molars)
They start to appear when babies are between 12 and 16 months of age.
They break through when babies are between 16 to 20 months old.
– Second back teeth (molars)
These teeth start to appear when babies are about 20 to 30 months of age.
When your baby starts teething, you will see some symptoms on your baby. Here are some of the teething signs:
– Fussier than usual
Some babies are fussier than usual when they start teething. That’s because some teeth grow with discomfort and pain. That’s why some babies are fussier for three or five days before the teeth start to cut the gum.
Teething process stimulates the gland to produce more saliva. That’s why it is common for babies age 3 or 4 months to drool a lot.
Drooling a lot can trigger a rash on the chin and face or even chest. To avoid it, wipe your baby’s drool right away.
Because of the discomfort on their gum, teething babies may tend to bite their toys or fingers.
– Refuse to eat
Your baby may refuse to eat because their gum and mouth are hurting because of the teething process. If your six-month old baby refuse to eat or even refuse to open his mouth, you do not need to worry. Once the teething pain stop, he will get his appetite back and willing to open his mouth.
– Sore gum
You will notice that your baby’s gum is red and sore when he starts teething.
Some parents think that fever and teething are connected. However, this link is not scientifically proven.
How to improve teething symptoms
To relieve your baby’s teething pain and discomfort, you can rub your baby’s gum with your clean finger. Do it gently for about two minutes. As an alternative, you can use cold teething rings to sooth his gum.
Another way to soothe your painful baby’s gum, you can apply teething gel on his gum. Make sure that you buy one that is specifically formulated for babies. It is not safe to apply this gel for babies under 4 months old. This gel contains local anesthetic in low dose. In consequence, your baby will not feel the pain and discomfort. This gel also contains mild antiseptic to prevent infection which is caused by broken skin in his mouth.
If your baby loves chewing or biting his fingers or toys. It is better for you to replace the toys with fruits, such as apples. You can also give him breadstick. Remember to stay close to your baby when he is chewing the fruit or bread for fear that he choke on it.
If your baby is extremely fussy because of the teething pain, you may give him painkilling medication such as paracetamol. Make sure that you give him the paracetamol in the right dose.
Another way to make your baby less fussy is that by distracting him. You can play with him or take him for walk in the stroller. These activities can help him forget his painful gum.
Caring your babies’ teeth
Once your baby start having teeth, you must brush his teeth regularly. Choose small toothbrush and baby tooth paste to brush his teeth. Use only tiny smear of this tooth paste. It may be a bit difficult to brush all his teeth as first. But once your baby get used to it, you will be able to brush all his teeth. Do it twice a day.
Here are some babies brushing tips you can follow:
– Use the right amount of tooth paste
For kids younger than three years old, use only tiny smear of tooth paste for toddlers. For kids three years or older, use the tooth paste in small amount or as big as a pea.
– If your baby doesn’t like having his teeth brush, don’t give up
You can make this tooth brushing activities a game so that they love it. Other ways you can do are let him watch you brush your teeth or brush your teeth with him.
– Brush his teeth properly
Put your baby on your lap and tilt his head upward. Brush his teeth thoroughly in small circles. After that, ask him to spit out the tooth paste.