When does the process of teething begin?
When a baby
begins teething, there is no set pattern on when it will begin, how long it will
take and how painful it will be. For
one baby cutting a tooth might happen overnight without pain, while another
child might have to go through a long, drawn out and painful experience.
You may sometimes visibly see a rise or lump in the gum for several
weeks, while sometimes there may be no visible clue at all until the tooth
The process of
teething often follows hereditary patterns, so if the mother and father teethed
early or late, your baby may follow the same pattern.
On average the first tooth comes in during the seventh month, although it
can arrive as early as three months, as late as a year, or in rare cases even
earlier or later.
Which teeth come in first and how many with there be?
In total there
are twenty primary (first) teeth, which is twelve less than the full set of
thirty-two permanent teeth adults have. Most
children have a full set of primary teeth by the time they are around two or
three years old. These teeth
usually last until about the age of six, when the teeth that were first to
appear become loose and fall out as the second teeth begin to push through the
gums. The primary teeth continue
falling out until roughly the age of twelve.
Again, these ages mentioned above are only averages and your child may
follow an earlier or later pattern. The
following is the most common pattern in which your baby’s teeth will usually
to 7 months
Two central bottom & Two
central top teeth.
to 9 months
Two more incisors
Top & bottom; making four
top & four bottom teeth in all.
to 14 months
Double teeth for chewing
to 18 months
The pointed teeth or
to 3 years
The second set of double teeth
at the back
What are the symptoms of teething?
symptoms of teething vary from child to child. Because of these different
experiences, parents and physicians often disagree as to the symptoms of
teething and how painful it is. The list below shows symptoms that a teething
baby may experience. While most parents usually agree that some or all of the
symptoms below happened around the time of teething, it is still recommended
that if your baby experiences any of these symptoms you check with your
pediatrician to rule out other possible causes for the symptoms.
As the sharp little tooth rises closer to the surface your baby’s gums
may become increasingly more sore and painful, leading to your baby being very
fussy. The pain and discomfort is
most often worse during the first teeth coming in and later when the molars come
in because of their bigger size. This
is most often the case since babies become accustomed to the sensations of
teething and learn to live with them. But
you may find your baby may be fussy during the whole time that every tooth comes
in. Every child reacts differently.
From three to four months of age you may see your baby start drooling
more often than normal. Teething
stimulates drooling, which is often worse with some babies than others.
The extra saliva can cause your baby to occasionally cough or gag.
This is usually nothing to worry about as long as your baby seems fine
and shows no signs of a cold or flu and does not run a high fever.
If your baby is a big drooler, the constant contact with saliva can cause
the skin around the chin and mouth to become irritated.
To help prevent this, gently wipe your baby’s mouth and chin
periodically throughout the day.
gnawing: A baby that is
teething will gnaw and gum down on anything she or he can get their mouth
around. The counter pressure from
biting on something helps relieve the pressure from under the gums.
and ear pulling: Pain in the
gums may travel to the ears and cheeks particularly when the back molars begin
coming in. This is why you may see
your baby rubbing their cheeks or pulling at their ears.
However, keep in mind that pulling at an ear can also be a sign of an ear
While this is a symptom that is disagreed upon by physicians, researchers
and parents, most parents usually notice slightly looser bowel movements when a
baby is teething. While the recent
study done by the Children’s Hospital in Australia found this to be the most
common symptom of teething, there are still many people that will agree and
disagree with this recent study. It is believed that the most likely cause of
this is the extra saliva swallowed, which then loosens the stool.
Be sure and report any diarrhea to your doctor that lasts more than two
fever: A fever is
another symptom that doctors are sometimes hesitant to directly link with
teething. But there are many
parents who will disagree with this and find their baby gets a slight fever
while teething. The best thing to
do is be extra safe and notify your doctor if a fever last more than two days.
well: With teething pain
happening during the day and night, you may find your child wakes more often at
night when the pain gets bad enough. Most parents agree that the night waking happens more often
during the first set of teeth and with the molars.
symptoms (runny nose, etc.): Some
parents find that their baby will show signs of having a cold.
Runny noses, coughing and general cold symptoms are believed to come from
the baby having their hands in their mouth more often.
Play it safe and always notify your doctor if symptoms such as this
How can I help my baby with the pain?
several things that you can try to help ease the pain of teething; some work and
some don’t, but most parents agree they’re always worth a try. Teething rings, water filled and chilled rubber teething
toys; mom and dads fingers can all provide counter pressure that can sometimes
bring relief. Offering your baby a
cold bottle of water can also help. If
sucking on the bottle bothers your child, offer a cold cup of water.
The water can also help replenish your baby’s fluid if they’re
drooling a lot or have loose bowel movements.
Cold food has
also been found to be helpful by some parents.
Chilled applesauce, yogurt and pureed peaches may be more appealing to
your baby and also more nutritious than a chilled teething ring.
else helps, you can also turn to the Infant Tylenol.
Before giving your child Infant Tylenol (acetaminophen) always check with
your doctor first. Your doctor will
tell you if it’s all right and what the proper amount is to give your baby.
Baby Orajel and other teething pain medicines that are applied to the
gums can also provide some relief. Some
parents say the Baby Orajel type products work great, while other parents will
say it doesn’t. Also check with
your doctor before giving this type of over the counter pain reliever to your
teething process will come and go just like so many other things with new
babies. Keep trying different
things until you find what provides the best relief for your child.
Note: Before trying any of the suggestions listed
above or any other type of home remedy it is highly recommended that you contact
your pediatrician first. You should follow your pediatricians advise first
before trying anything mentioned on this site or on any other site. Your
child's doctor knows what is best for your child.