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The Signs of Teething


Many parents see the signs of teething well before those actual teeth appear! Here's what you can expect when your baby is teething.

Baby Teething: When Does It Start?

Your baby is born with his first teeth. These are commonly called the baby teeth or the milk teeth, but you won't see them just yet because they're still in his gums. Sometimes babies have a visible tooth or two at birth, but this is rare.

Baby Teething: Which Teeth Will Appear First?

Most times, a baby's first tooth will be a lower one, but there's no set timeframe as to when it will appear. Some babies start teething as early as four months, but some babies are still toothless at a year. Most kids have all 20 of their baby teeth by the time they're two and a half.

A teething baby can get teeth in any order, but they typically appear like this.

By six months: The middle two top and bottom teeth appear.

By eight months: Two more top and bottom teeth appear, making eight total teeth.

By 10-14 months: The first molars appear.

By 18 months: The eye teeth appear.

By 2-2.5 years: The second molars appear. The baby now has all of his baby teeth.

When your baby is teething, he may be uncomfortable, but shouldn’t be sick. If your baby is running a fever, call your doctor.

What Happens if Your Baby Is Teething Late?

Although most babies have teeth at a year old, some don't. There's nothing to worry about if your baby doesn't start to teethe until late, but many parents schedule their child's first dentist visit around one year. The dentist will be able to look and see if teeth are on the way.

How to Clean Your Baby's Teeth

Tooth brushing should start well before your baby is teething. It's a good idea to wipe down gums with a soft, damp rag.

When your teething baby finally gets a tooth, brush it with a soft brush and a tiny amount of baby toothpaste.

Baby toothpastes are specially formulated. You should not use a children's or adult toothpaste as these can have unsafe levels of fluoride for your baby.

How to Help a Teething Baby

Babies are unable to let you know when their mouths hurt, but you can look for a few teething signs. These include:

  • Excessive drooling
  • Chewing on a lot of objects
  • Flushed cheeks

Teething can last for a few months so drooling won't always be the only sign. Plan on using lots of bibs to help keep your baby's clothing and skin dry.

To help your teething baby, you can do a few things:

  • Give your baby acetaminophen (talk to your doctor for proper dosing).
  • Rub your baby's gums with a clean finger, but be careful because those baby jaws can be strong!
  • Give your baby a frozen teether or frozen washcloth to chew on.
  • Provide baby-safe, hard toys to chew on.
  • Keep your baby's chin dry. The excess drool can cause irritation so wiping their chin can help.

There are also a number of old wives' tales said to help with baby teething. However there's no scientific evidence that they work.

A Mom Says…

  • “My baby started drooling all the time at five months, but his first tooth didn't show up until he was 10 months old! We went through a lot of bibs and shirts in those five months.”
Understanding Teething Symptoms 4

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