An essential part of your baby’s development is when her teeth come in.
Did you know babies are born with undeveloped teeth in their jaws? They’re known as tooth buds and the foundations of what will become a baby’s teeth. When they are ready, they push through the gums. A baby’s teeth are essential to your child’s health and development.
They help him or her to chew, speak and smile. When your baby is between four to six months, the first tooth may begin to appear. Every child is different, but usually, we can locate the first teeth in the top and bottom front of their mouth. Signs that your baby is teething can include fussiness, drooling, lack of sleep or loss of appetite.
Diarrhea, a rash or a fever are not typical for a teething baby. Call your pediatrician if your baby has a fever or diarrhea while teething or continues to be cranky and uncomfortable.
Sore gums are expected in a baby that is teething.
Gently rub your baby’s gums with a clean finger, an excellent teething ring, or a moist gauze pad. Avoid over-the-counter benzocaine products for children younger than two.
Most children have their complete set of 20 baby teeth in place by age 3. Adult teeth start to appear around age 6. Time flies so fast that she’ll soon place her tooth under her pillow for the tooth fairy.
Teeth Development in Children (Baby's Teeth)
Did you know that when most babies are born, they don’t have any teeth showing?
Our primary, or baby’s teeth, grow even before we’re born. But our first primary tooth usually doesn’t poke through our gums until we’re around 6 or 7 months old.
By the time most of us are three years old, our primary teeth have come into our mouths where we can see them, or at least we can see parts of them. There are also parts of our primary teeth that we can’t see.
Imagine you had x-ray vision. Here’s what those primary teeth would look like. Notice they have pointy roots.
Our primary teeth are essential, and we must take good care of them.
But did you know they aren’t the only teeth we have? We also have these, our permanent teeth growing under the gums. Only their tops, or crowns, are formed. Their roots will develop later.
Our baby’s teeth are space holders for permanent teeth. Our permanent teeth will slowly come into our mouths and replace our primary teeth as we grow.
When we are about six, we get our first permanent molars in the back of our mouths. Notice that a primary tooth isn’t lost before these molars enter our mouth.
The permanent front teeth start to come in at about the same time. You’ve probably seen a friend with a loose tooth or a tooth missing.
Primary teeth get loose and fall out because the roots dissolve. When primary teeth fall out, their roots are short and stubby.
By the time most people are 14, the second molars and the other permanent teeth have poked through and shown in the mouth.
All the primary keep have been replaced. The last molars, our wisdom teeth, come in if there is room for them.
When Your Babie's Teeth Starting: Signs Your Baby Is Teething
Most babies get their first tooth at about six months, though there’s, wait for it, a wide range of regular teething times, with some babies celebrating their first birthdays with a still-gummy grin.
There’s no way to predict precisely when the teething fairy will fly in for a first visit, but several signs may signal she’s on her way.
Does drool rule at your house?
Teething stimulates drooling, with the faucet flowing early and often, sometimes even a month or two before we cut that first tooth. Some babies drool just a little, while others drool buckets, sometimes resulting in coughing and gagging.
The constant drool drip on those sweet cheeks, chin, mouth, and neck can lead to chapping, chafing, roughness, redness, and rashes. Keeping the area as dry as possible and applying a moisture barrier cream can help protect the baby’s skin.
Another teething sign is crankiness. Those new pearly whites poking through tender gums may be teeny tiny, but the pain and inflammation they cause can be bears.
Teething irritability and crying can last a few hours or continue on and off for days or weeks.
Teething babies may also be fussy feeders and frustrated ones since the suction of suckling makes gums feel even sorer since the teething fairy tends to work the night shift. With inflammation and pain more bothersome after hours, teething may disrupt sleep.
Settle your little one with soothing, but try to avoid returning to nighttime feedings if he has already kicked them or to other sleep associations he has moved on from, like rocks. These habits can continue long after teething pain has left the building. Counter pressure provides sweet relief for teething pain, so your little teether may be chomping down hard on anything she can get those gums on, from her fists and fingers to teething rings to your fingers, hands, arms, and shoulder.
Nip full-on biting, but offer a soothing massage with your clean finger or knuckle.
Beyond biting, your little teether may rub his cheek or pull on his ear. That’s because gums, ears, and cheeks share nerve pathways, so an ache in the gums can travel elsewhere.
Of course, since ear infections can also trigger ear yanking and cheek rubbing, check with the pediatrician to rule out a cause beyond teething.
Other signs you should check in with the doctor about, which may or may not be linked to teething, include looser poops because of all that swallowed drool and a slightly elevated temperature due to inflammation.
What Can You Do to Help Ease the Ache that Comes with Teething?
Give the baby plenty to chew on. Offer a variety of teethers to figure out which type baby likes best, soft and pliable, more complex, nubby, a combo, classic rings or rattles, teethers shaped like fingers on a hand, a giraffe or a cow, or fashioned like a mitt or toothbrush.
Safe teethers come in many materials, including silicone, natural rubber, cloth, and wood. Chilling your baby’s gums numbs them while easing inflammation and swelling. So stash teethers in the fridge or let her suck on a washcloth soaked in water or chamomile tea and chill.
Or use a feeder filled with soft-frozen breast milk or formula, or once the baby has started solids, banana or applesauce. Too cold is not cool. Frozen teethers or ice can injure sensitive gums.
Ask the pediatrician about occasionally breaking out the baby acetaminophen for teething pain that won’t quit.
Don’t use topical gels and tablets touted for teething without the doctor’s approval. And pass on amber necklaces and bracelets, which are considered unsafe.
When do Babies Start Teething?
Did you know babies are born with all 20 primary teeth?
They are embedded in the gums, and as your baby ages, the teeth gradually reach the surface.
Age range 6 – 8 months old: the first teeth are usually the two bottom front teeth. They top two front teeth followed them.
Age range 9 – 12 months old: The teeth on either side of those front ones. They were followed by the same thing but on the bottom.
Age range 13 – 15 months old: the top and bottom molars are the following sets.
Age range 16 – 18 months old: The canines in similar order follow close behind.
Age range 2 – 3 years old: Finally, we get the secondary molars.
Being a parent is a lot like being a detective. You have to look for clues. You’ll notice your babies starting to chew on anything they can get a hold of. Chewing is good; it relieves some of the painful pressure.
You’ll also see a lot more drooling that can cause chapped skin on your baby’s face; petroleum jelly can help. Finally, you’ll see that your baby is cranky, specifically throwing toys and screaming.
There’s no pleasing them type of crankiness. Teasing is a good thing; it’s just another milestone for your baby’s growth. Your child’s pediatrician can offer you additional tips and advice.