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Get ready! If your baby is over 3 months old, it’s time to start watching for signs of teething. Each baby is different and it’s hard to predict the exact time your baby’s first teeth will erupt, but typically full blown teething will start around 6 months old. Remember, these are just guidelines with information gathered from the leading pediatric dental sites.
What Happens First? Lower Teeth. Watch for the front bottom two teeth (lower central incisors) to emerge first. When you see the following behaviors, it will be time to start checking for teething.
Your Baby’s Behavior: Signs and symptoms of teething include irritability or fussiness, drooling, chewing on firm solid objects, and sore or sensitive gums. Parents also commonly conclude that teething causes diarrhea and fever, but research has shown this to be untrue. Teething does produce signs and symptoms in the gums and mouth but not generally in other body parts.
Second Place Teeth Erupt? Top Teeth. Watch for the front top two teeth (upper central incisors) to start to cut through the gums.
Will It Hurt My Baby? Sadly, all parents have to go through this temporary process. You can try to make it easier by using teething toys to help, but you will need plenty of drool bibs as well. Teething can be a painful and difficult process for both babies and parents, as infants may become especially fussy or cranky while their new teeth emerge.
If you are armed with enough information, like the information we are providing here, the process may not be less painful for you and your baby, but at least you will not panic because you will know what is happening and will know what to expect.
Teething happens in 5 stages and the process will take place over a period of about 3 years. It can be very tough for both parents and babies to endure.
Stage 1: (0-6 months) At birth, babies have a full set of 20 primary teeth in the jawbones beneath their gums. These are frequently referred to as “milk teeth,” because during this stage a baby’s diet usually consists of milk only.
Stage 2: (6-8 months) During this stage, the first teeth emerge. The lower and upper front teeth, the incisors, begin to erupt around 6 months, but signs and symptoms of pain or discomfort may become evident before 6 months. Prior to eruption, the uneven edges of the teeth may push against the gums, and the baby will typically start chewing on toys, hands, or other solid objects. Putting pressure on the gums alleviates pain and provides a distraction for babies, so make sure to give them appropriate chew items to ease their discomfort. There will likely be an obvious increase in drool during this times period, so keeping a small bib on the baby can make it easier to keep his/her chin dry. This will help keep a rash from forming around the baby’s mouth and chin, which can add to the discomfort.
Stage 3: (10-14 months) During this stage, the primary molars begin erupting. These teeth come in the back of the mouth in the lower and upper jaws. This stage is much like stage 2, but parents will notice an even more evident increase in drool, crankiness, and the need to chew on solid objects. During this time period, it is also common for babies to experience a bit of a loss of appetite, fever, and diarrhea. During stage 3, a baby’s sleep schedule may become more sporadic or get “off.” Unfortunately, it is typical for both babies and parents to lose sleep at night during this period of teething. If a baby’s pain seems to become overly severe or the baby seems to experience inordinate discomfort, consult the pediatrician for advised over-the-counter pain remedies.
Stage 4: (16-22 months) During this stage, the canine teeth (between the top and bottom molars and incisors) will surface. The same recommendations for stage 2 and 3 can be implemented during this period to keep the baby as comfortable as possible.
Stage 5: (25-33 months) For some children, this is the most painful stage of teething. During this time, the large molars emerge. These are the biggest teeth, and parents may find their normal soothing techniques are no longer effective. Try different methods to soothe the toddler until something helps. Many parents find it beneficial to give the toddler a hard vegetable to chew on, and this is also healthy. If implementing this method, make sure to keep a close eye on the child at all times to make sure he/she does not choke!
Some helpful hints for soothing a baby’s sensitive and sore gums include:
Article Information Gathered from a variety of sources and written by Unique Kids Boutique. Credits for dental information go to:
Dr. Jeffrey Holt Kids Dental Carrollton TX
Dr. Marianne Chingbingyong
Dr. Sarita Shah John