When it comes to teething, all babies are different. But your baby will probably get their first tooth sometime before their first birthday. Although rare, some babies are born with teeth. These are called Natal teeth. Other babies may start teething before they are 4 months old, and some after age 1. But in general, most babies start teething at around 6 months. If you have been noticing your baby’s gums are inflamed, or rounded…getting extra puffy, or spot bleeding, it may just be a matter of weeks to a month before you see a pearly white baby tooth starting to poke through. When your baby is teething, you’ll notice other signs, along with swollen gums and excessive drooling.
- Teething babies will often try to gnaw and chew on anything they can get in their mouths.
- If your baby’s teething pain crosses over to their ear canal, you may find them tugging at their ears too, or shaking their head from side to side as if they are gesturing no no no.
- You might even notice a change in their eating habits, depending on how the pressure of sucking down milk or chewing on foods makes them feel. Some babies may want to drink more milk than eat solids, while other babies may do the opposite.
- Your baby may have a mild temperature of 38C
- They may have 1 flushed cheek
- They may have a rash on their face
- Your baby may have a diarrhea
- They may experience difficulty sleeping or staying asleep
- Your baby may be overly fussy or cranky
So you might ask, what can I do to ease my baby’s discomfort?
- Gently massage your baby’s gums with a clean finger, knuckle, or finger wisp, or moistened gauze pad.
- Hold a cold washcloth, spoon, or chilled teething ring on your baby’s gums.
- Use plastic or BPA-free toys that are chilled — never frozen solid (ouch!)
- Offer cold foods like chilled slices of cucumber, frozen pancakes, or waffles, chilled applesauce, yogurts, or pureed fruits if your baby is already eating solids. These are great ways to reduce pain, learn to chew, and enjoy new foods at the same time — but always keep a watchful eye on them, because some foods could be a choking hazard.
- Use occasional over-the-counter baby Tylenol or ibuprofen, with your pediatrician’s OK.
- Avoid Orajel since they are not meant to be ingested and with excessive drooling, it is unlikely that the Orajel will adhere to their gums.
When my baby’s teeth start to arrive, what can I expect to see? Great question! Here’s a loose guide:
- bottom incisors (bottom front teeth) – these are usually the first to come through, usually at around 5 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 baby teeth by the time they are 2 1/2 years old.
You should make your child’s first dental visit around their first birthday. For tips on how to care for your baby’s teeth, book an appointment with Dr. Anderson at Sprout Kids Dentistry today at 617-328-1700.
Dr. Michelle Anderson is a pediatric dentist board certified by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry.