As a new parent, you may have heard from other parents or read about the different challenges babies face when they are teething. You might even ask yourself at what age do babies start teething. This question is important. You should take note of it as well as the challenges that emerge as soon as a baby starts teething. Here is some critical information on what you can expect and what you can do when teething becomes a bit challenging for your little one.
Teething can be described as the process in which the primary teeth break through the skin and one of the major questions new parents have is at what age babies start teething? Well, the simple answer to this question is that the timing varies for every baby but most will begin teething at between 6 to 10 months and they should have 20 primary teeth by the age of three, but it is important to note that teething can begin earlier or later than the given timings. Here are some of the symptoms that your baby might experience during teething.
Symptoms of Teething
Some babies will experience different symptoms of teething and some will not even have any noticeable signs. Your pediatrician may tell you that only about a third of babies will have any teething symptoms and if they experience any symptoms, they will only have one of the known symptoms.
Symptoms will usually begin about 3 to 5 days before the tooth begins to show but will then disappear after the tooth has broken the skin on the gum. Your baby may become fussy and irritable due to the swelling and soreness of the gums and he/she may not want to drink or eat anything. You may also observe that your baby is drooling a lot. This drooling may cause a rash on the chin, chest, or face.
These symptoms often do not last beyond the emergence of the tooth from the gum. Here is a list of some of the classic symptoms of teething although each could be a sign of something else and you should monitor how mild or intense they are.
• Swollen gums
• Refusal to eat or drink
• Attempting to chew or bite just about everything
• Pulling or grabbing ears
• Trouble sleeping
• Rubbing of the face
• Visible tooth beneath the gum
Symptoms That Are Not a Sign of Teething
Symptoms such as diarrhea, a running nose, and a fever have often been associated with teething. It is a commonly held belief that because babies will chew and bite on anything during teething they may become sick from all the germs and viruses that they come into contact with. However, the American Association of Pediatricians has rejected diarrhea and fever as symptoms of teething. It is best to consult your doctor should your baby have these symptoms. He will help you identify and determine the true cause.
Ways to Comfort Your Baby during Teething
• Giving your baby some safe objects such as teething rings to chew and bite to help ease any discomfort caused by teething
• You can use a cold teething ring or your finger to rub your baby’s gums gently for short time-frames. This should give them a soothing feeling. Your baby may resist in the beginning but will soon enjoy the soothing feeling.
• Only when it is necessary you can give an over the counter pain reliever to give pain relief.
Note: The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned against the use of teething gels to relieve teething pain for babies. This is because the gels have been found to cause numbness in baby’s throats, which makes swallowing difficult for them.
When to Be Concerned About Late Teething
Babies can begin teething as late as 14 months but when teething does not begin by 18 months then you should probably inform your pediatrician who should then guide you on what steps you need to take. The pediatrician may refer you to a pediatric dentist when there is a reason for concern but most of the time late teething should not worry you when other developmental parameters are on course. This is because late teething is not considered a problem in terms of the overall development of children and some pediatricians consider it an advantage by arguing that with late teething teeth there is less time for your baby to develop tooth decay (due to different causes) before the permanent teeth come in.
Regular and Routine Dental Check-Ups
The doctor will check your baby’s dental health during each visit but a visit to the dentist is recommended just about six months after the first tooth comes in and the rule of thumb is that it should not be later than your baby’s first birthday. Regular dental check-ups can help prevent a myriad of teething problems such as cavities and tooth decay. Through these visits, dentists can identify and treat any dental problems early enough. Here are few teeth problems that require the help of a pediatric doctor.
• Tooth decay even in milk teeth
• A birth defect of the mouth such as a cleft palate or a small jaw
• Teeth not coming in beyond 18 months
• Damage to the teeth or gum caused by any type of facial injury
How to Care For Milk Teeth
Clean your baby’s gums with clean gauze or a soft cloth before the teeth start showing and when they do, you can switch to a soft toothbrush and a small amount of fluoride toothpaste to clean the teeth. You can then begin using a pea-sized amount of toothpaste to brush your child’s teeth when they reach the age of two and then proceed to teach them how to floss when their teeth touch each other.
Teething does not have to be a nightmare for you and your baby, you can use very simple treatments that will help ease any discomfort your baby experiences during this time. Remember the slight discomfort produces baby teeth, which add on to what is already a beautiful smile.