Teething is a normal and exciting part of a baby’s development. Most infants start teething between 5-12 months of age. It is also possible for some babies to be born with one or two teeth in place. Children usually have their full set of 20 baby teeth, or primary teeth, in place by age 3. Primary teeth play an important role in speech, chewing and provide an eruption path for adult teeth.
During tooth eruption, lower teeth usually erupt before upper teeth.
5-10 months Central incisors erupt
7-12 months Lateral incisors erupt
11-18months First molars erupt
16-20 months Canines erupt
20-30 months Second molars erupt
While not all babies experience discomfort when teething, here are some possible symptoms:
Fussiness or irritability
Gum sensitivity or swelling
Changes in baby’s stool and a low grade fever (less than 100F) may be possible but are not medically substantiated. If your baby is showing signs of diarrhea or fever, you should contact their pediatrician immediately.
Massage gums with finger brush/wet gauze
Teething rings/toys (look for phthalate free)
Chilled wet washcloth, or chilled teething rings can soothe gums
Serve chilled breast milk or formula
Dental problems can begin early. A big concern is baby bottle tooth decay or nursing caries. Children risk severe decay from using a bottle during naps or at night or when they nurse continuously at the breast. The earlier the dental visit, the better the chance of preventing dental problems. It is important to have the first dental visit by the child’s first birthday. Children with healthy teeth chew food easily, are better able to learn and speak clearly, and smile without reservations. Remember, teething is a phase, and when you make it through, your little one will be ready for a whole new world of tastes and textures that come with being able to chew.