While teething can be a difficult and painful process both for babies and their families, knowing what you can expect from the teething process as the parent of a baby can help things go a bit smoother. Here, our SmileTown Langley dentists explain what parents should know about teething.
When does teething start?
Your baby could start teething at any time between 3 and 12 months old. In some more unusual cases, this process will start even later. Generally speaking, through, the teething process will start at around the 6-month mark.
How long does teething last?
Teething normally takes place over a year or more. Most babies will have all their primary teeth when they are between 2 and a half to 3 years old.
How many baby teeth will erupt in all?
During the teething process, children will develop 20 primary (also known as baby) teeth.
Which primary teeth erupt first?
Baby teeth come in 5 different types, and they most often erupt in the following order:
- Central Incisor (8-12 months)
- Lateral Incisor (9-13 months)
- Canine (16-22 months)
- First Molar (13-19 months)
- Second Molar (25-33 months)
- Central Incisor (6-10 months)
- Lateral Incisor (10-16 months)
- Canine (17-23 months)
- First Molar (14-18 months)
- Second Molar (23-31 months)
What are the teething symptoms?
Drooling - While teething, babies will often drool excessively, so fastening a bib to them will help to keep your baby dry.
Teething Rash - As a result of the excessive drool, redness, chapping or chafing around the mouth and chin can occur. To minimize this, regularly pat the drool away with a clean dry cloth, or try creating a moisture barrier with a product like Vaseline.
Coughing and/or gag reflex - Excess drooling will often make your baby gag or cough.
Biting - As the primary teeth push through the gums, they may cause a serious amount of pain and may cause them to feel uncomfortable. The pressure can be relieved a bit through counter-pressure, like that provided by biting down on something. Lest your fingers be on the receiving end of the of these surprisingly painful bites, make lots of teething rings available!
Irritability & Crying - Continuous discomfort can understandably make babies feel a bit grumpy. While some babies are only irritable for a few hours at a time here and there, others are crabby for days or even weeks on end. This can also mean more frequent bouts of crying.
Sleep & Feeding Disruption - The discomfort of teething may also disrupt your baby's daily eating and sleeping patterns; and yours, too! Teething babies will often resist feeding, and may wake up more frequently at night.
Cheek Rubbing and Ear Pulling - Shared nerve pathways exist between the cheeks, gums and ears. Sore, achy gums can therefore cause discomfort in the ears and cheeks also. Your baby may respond to this discomfort by pulling on her ears rubbing at her cheeks.
How can I make the teething process easier for my baby?
As previously mentioned, teething rings, rattles and other chewable toys should be available for your child to bite down on for counter-pressure.
Cold things, in particular, can be soothing for your child. Try a cold washcloth that you keep in the fridge as well as cool food and drinks.
In severe cases, pain medication may be helpful, but this issue should be discussed with your pediatrician first.
Finally, provide lots of extra comfort in the form of snuggles, extra kisses, and as much patience as you can muster. This will help you and your baby to get through the teething process more happily.