As unique as individuals they are becoming, the first growth of baby teeth can vary across populations and may even be determined by family history. While most babies will experience their first tooth around the 6-month mark, some may still have no teeth by their 1st birthday, and there are even little ones who are born with their first teeth!
Typically, the lower front teeth (bottom incisors) come in first at around 5 to 7 months, followed by the top front teeth, followed next by the top lateral incisors, then the bottom lateral incisors, the first molars, their canines, and finally, second molars, in that order. On average, most children will have their baby teeth by age 2.5 to 3 years old, with 20 pearly whites in place by age 3 – of course, right when they’ll start refusing to smile for mom’s camera!
It’s common for parents and caregivers to question ‘when do babies start teething?’, which is technically called odontiasis, or the process when a baby’s teeth start to come through the gum line.
Baby Teething Symptoms
While teething symptoms aren’t going to be the same for every baby, it helps to have some frame of reference and know what to look out for and expect.
When babies begin to produce more saliva around the 3 -month mark and start to put their hands in their mouth, many parents assume that this is a sign their baby is teething.
Here are some common baby teething symptoms to look out for that suggests your baby has begun this milestone:
- Swollen, red, or tender gums, specifically, where a tooth may be or already has started visibly coming through.
- Flushed baby cheek.
- Irritability, such as constant rubbing or pulling of their ear and cheek.
- Excessive dribbling, or more than usual.
- Excessive fussiness and crying.
- Slightly raised temperature (less than 101 F).
- Lots of coughing.
- Gnawing and chewing on things more frequently.
Signs Baby is Teething or Something More Serious?
Teething can emerge with no pain or discomfort, or it can be pretty painful for your baby, despite it rarely making babies sick. There is little evidence to suggest that teething causes diarrhea and fever, as some parents believe. You know your baby best. If you see your baby has aforementioned diarrhea, has a high fever, is vomiting, their gums are bleeding, or you notice any pus or swelling of their face, these may not be typical signs baby is teething. In these cases, you should call your pediatrician or get urgent medical advice.
Teething Toys and Baby Toothbrushes
As parents, we all want to relieve our babies’ pain and discomfort as quickly as possible. Teething, as we know, can be a very uncomfortable process for our little ones. That’s where teething toys and infant toothbrushes come in. Teethers help alleviate pain by giving the baby a safe and clean surface to start chewing on. Chewing on something applies pressure to the gums and mouth to soothe discomfort as teeth break through the surface. Many parents make teething rings, and teether toys a diaper bag necessity once their baby has begun the teething process. Freezable teethers are a popular solution for cooling down and soothing inflamed gums while baby chews. Once a baby has 1 or 2 teeth, many parents opt for a baby teething toothbrush that can act as a teether and brush to brush gums and teeth (or tooth!) Toothbrush bristles work to gently clean and comfort the baby’s gums and mouth. It can be hard seeing your angel uncomfortable, but teething is an important milestone in your baby’s development. The suitable teething toys and brushes can help alleviate any pain and help your baby develop an adorable smile.