While most babies get their first pearly white at around six months, some infants’ first teeth emerge as soon as three months (or as late as 14 months!). During this time, your little one is probably easily irritable as they may experience sore and tender gums or teething rash.
As Parenting explains, babies typically get their teeth in pairs. The most common first teeth are the middle two on the bottom of the mouth, followed by the two in the top center. By the time they reach the age of three, most children have a full set of 20 primary teeth. Moreover, children will have 28 of their 32 adult teeth (the remaining four are wisdom tooths) by the age of 12 to 14.
What are the symptoms of teething?
Every baby experiences teething different. Here are some of the signs to look out for:
- Excessive drooling: This happens because your child’s body is creating extra saliva to lubricate the tender and bulging gums. However, excessive drooling can make babies gag and cough. Contact your doctor immediately if this leads to facial rashes!
- Ear pulling and cheek rubbing: By pulling and rubbing around their ear and jaw, babies create counter pressure that eases some of the pain and throbbing.
- Biting more than usual: Biting relieves sores and discomfort.
- Fussier than usual (especially at night): The discomfort may cause your baby to wake up several times a night!
- Loss of appetite: When babies are in pain, they generally don’t want to eat. So keep trying to feed them as much as possible because your baby needs to eat to grow healthily too.
- Fever: While The Center of Parenting Education mentions that fever is not normal for a teething baby, many parents detect a slight fever in their babies when teeth are imminent.
How can you soothe your baby’s teething pains?
- Give baby a pacifier to soothe the pain! Other teething toys include silicone teething rings, wooden teethers, teething necklace, and more.
- Massage works wonders. Rub your child’s gums with a clean wet gauze or finger may help with the soreness.
- If your baby is over six months, offer him or her a bottle of cold water. This can help relief achy gums.
- Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are great for temporary pain relief. When offering these to your baby, be sure not to exceed the recommended dosage!
- Boost your infant’s immune system. This can help prevent fever and runny nose.
According to The Center of Parenting Education, your child’s baby teeth are important in helping your child chew and speak normally. They also hold space in the jaws for the adult teeth that come in later. Therefore, good oral care at a young age is extremely important because it can protect your child’s teeth for decades to come.