Most babies start getting teeth within their first year of age, and for many babies, this causes pain and discomfort. In this post, we’ll tell you how to spot the signs of teething and what to do if your baby has teething pain.
What is teething?
Teething is the process whereby your child’s teeth emerge through the gums. It typically takes around two years for all the baby teeth to come through. Here’s the order they come in:
- The first teeth to come through are typically the bottom incisors. Some babies are actually born with incisors but most develop them at around six months of age.
- The top incisors are the next to appear at around seven months.
- The top lateral incisors (which are the teeth to the side of the top front teeth) come through at around ten months.
- The bottom lateral incisors (the teeth to the side of the bottom front teeth) come through at around eleven months.
- The molars start to emerge at around fourteen months.
- The canines come through at around eighteen months.
- The final teeth to come through are the second molars at around twenty-five months.
Most babies will have a full set of teeth by the time they are 2 and a half years old.
What are the symptoms of teething?
If you think your baby is teething, check to see if any of these symptoms are present:
- A sore, red gum where the tooth is coming through
- One cheek is flushed but the other cheek is not
- Your baby is rubbing his ear
- Chewing on things a lot
- Wanting to be held more often
While some people think that teething can cause fever and diarrhoea, there’s no actual evidence to support this.
What should I do if my baby has teething pain?
No-one likes to see their baby in distress, so if your baby has teething pain, here are a few things you can try to ease their discomfort.
- Teething rings. Teething rings are objects made of plastic or wood that your baby can chew on. When a teething baby chews on one, it can help to relieve the pain. You put some teething rings in the fridge to make them cold – the cold will also help to soothe your baby’s teething pain.
- Teething gels. Teething gels are a special type of gel designed for teething babies. They contain a mild anaesthetic that helps to numb pain. You simply put the gel on your baby’s gum or tooth and it quickly reduces your baby’s discomfort pain. The gels that numb the pain around the erupting tooth. Never use adult pain relief gels on babies though, as these can be dangerous for children.
- Food. Babies who are old enough to eat can sometimes find relief by chewing on solid foods such as bread, carrots and apples.
If none of these measures works or if you have any concerns about your baby’s health, then do seek professional medical advice by calling NHS 111 or by making an appointment with your GP.
We hope you’re more confident about teething. By the way, did you know that you should take your baby for a dental checkup within the first six months of the start of teething? If you’d like to book your baby an appointment with us, just contact our friendly reception team!