Everything You Need To Know About Baby Teething
Experiencing your baby's firsts can be such an exciting time. Teething can be a tough phase for you and your little one to navigate. Some babies will breeze through teething as though nothing is happening, and others will have obvious discomfort and show lots of signs and symptoms of teething.
The age babies start getting teeth is varied. Teeth can appear anywhere from birth to 27 months old, some babies are even born with a tooth visible. The most common age babies start to get teeth is 6 -10 months old.
By the age of 3 they should have a full set of 20 baby teeth, 10 on the top and 10 on the bottom. Teething usually goes for around 7 days per tooth. Your little one can show signs or symptoms of teething four days prior to and three days after the tooth comes through the gum.
Common signs and symptoms
Every baby displays different signs and symptoms of teething, but most act more irritable and unsettled than normal. Teething signs include:
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- Cranky and restless
- Sucking on their hand, objects or toys
- Increased dirty nappies
- Dribbling due to extra saliva produced
- Not feeding or eating as well as normal
- Pulling at their ear (often the same side as the tooth that is coming through)
- Red swollen gums and rosy cheeks
- A bubble on the gum where the tooth is about to erupt.
Does teething cause fever?
Teething should not cause fevers but may cause your baby to have a slight increase in body temperature. You can monitor your little one’s temperature with a thermometer. A fever is a temperature over 38 degrees and should always be investigated by a doctor and not automatically be put down to teething.
It is normal for your baby to experience some discomfort while teething. You can try different teething remedies to see what works for them, and commonly your baby will want lots of extra cuddles and kisses from you. The discomfort will ease once the tooth appears through the gum.
Things to try:
- Massage your little one’s gums by gently rubbing with a clean finger or cold wash cloth.
- Give baby safe items to chew on such as a teething ring or toothbrush. Chilled teething rings can provide relief on their gums due to the cold temperature.
- Teething toys provide a safe and clean chewing surface offering comfort and relief to babies when their teeth are growing.
- Pain-relieving medication such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, with consultation with GP or child health nurse, can assist to relieve pain for your baby. Natural teething gels also contain some pain-relieving agents.
What not to use:
- Teething necklaces are not recommended due to choking and strangulation risks.
- Certain gels and teething tablets (depending on ingredients), always consult a healthcare professional before use.
When do baby teeth arrive and erupt?
Baby teeth can arrive in any order, but the bottom central teeth are often the first to be visible.
The estimated ages those teeth can appear are:
Central incisors 6- 10 months
Lateral incisors 10- 16 months
Canine 17- 23 months
First baby molar 14- 18 months
Second baby molar 23- 31 months
How to look after baby teeth?
For babies, it is a great habit to start cleaning their gums before any teeth appear.
Around 3 months old, you can start wiping your baby’s gums with a damp cloth twice a day. This will start getting them ready for tooth brushing when their first few teeth appear. As soon as your little one’s first tooth appears you can start cleaning them with a soft infant toothbrush twice a day, with water only.
If your baby doesn’t like the toothbrush in their mouth you can continue using a damp cloth to wipe the front and back of their tooth.
Toothpaste shouldn’t be used until the baby is over 18 months old.
After 18 months, you can start to use a small amount of toothpaste and then at 6 years old, your child can use standard strength fluoride toothpaste (if you choose). When using toothpaste, always encourage your child to spit it out and not to swallow it.
Make teeth brushing time fun, even a quick attempt at teeth brushing is better than nothing, this way your child learns it is a part of normal daily routine.
Aim to brush teeth for two minutes, play a song or use a timer so your little one knows how long to brush for. Children need your help with brushing their teeth until they are around 8 years old.
Your baby’s first dental visit
Your little one might fuss during their dental visit. This is the same as when they might fuss at a restaurant, or the hairdresser, or anywhere else you’d rather they were quiet.
Don’t worry, this is completely normal and the dental team is trained to make sure your baby is as comfortable as possible during their exam. As parents it is our own responsibility to use the first dental visit to become well informed about your child’s oral health.
Your dentist will take a full medical history and look at factors such as your child’s overall health and development.
Your dentist may discuss-
• Brushing techniques
• Bite (how your child’s teeth will come together)
• Soft tissues such as gums and cheeks
• Habits such as thumb sucking
• Risk of decay and how to prevent it
• Prevention of trauma to your child’s mouth
• Nutritional advice
The best way to get the most out of the visit is to listen to this advice and follow it. Your dentist has your child’s best interests at heart and wants to make sure that good habits are formed early.
We hope this information is helpful for you.
Please pop any handy tips you may have (like bringing your little ones pal along for a check up) below. We would love to hear them x
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