Baby Teething – The Ultimate Guide To Babies And Teething
Lost in the hours of feeding and diaper changes, baby teething is an abstract concept until it becomes very real. Teeth are something we do not think about until we lose one or we’re in pain.
People are different, and so are babies. Each teething experience is unique, but there are enough similarities that parents all over the globe can commiserate about their experiences.
Baby Teething Timeline
Some babies will be born with a tooth or two called natal teeth.
Some develop neonatal teeth which means that the tooth emerges within the first 30 days. Other babies will have their first tooth after they turn one.
On average, babies will start teething by six months. It will be uncomfortable and even painful. Teeth are pushing themselves through the gums, so you can imagine how distressing it is to experience.
Be sure to check the bottom gums as the first teeth are usually the two bottom front teeth (lower central incisors).
The two top front teeth (upper central incisors) often follow 
- 6 – 7 months: lower central incisors
- 8 – 9 months: upper central incisors
- 10 months: lower and upper lateral incisors
- 14 – 16 months: first molars
- 18 – 20 months: canines
- 24 months: second molars
Symptoms Of Baby Teething
Baby Teething symptoms include the following:
- Sore and inflamed gums where the tooth is emerging
- Loss of appetite
- Fussiness about food
- Refusal to nurse
- Restlessness during sleep
- Placing objects or hands in the mouth and biting them
- Flushed cheeks
- Grabbing ears
- Rubbing cheeks or chin
Baby Teething Causes More Than Just Gum Pain
In general, teething is not a cause for concern.
However, fever and diarrhea may occur when your child is teething. This is due to your baby placing objects inside their mouth to relieve tender gums . This may include dirty toys or hands which expose children to infection.
The Best of Homecare
Tried and tested home remedies remain the most effective ways to help babies cope with the distress caused by teething.
The Top 5 Go-To’s To Reduce Baby Teething Discomfort:
For teething relief start with the basics.
#1 – Massage the gums with your clean finger. This will offer some relief.
#2 – Chill a spoon in the refrigerator for the child to chew.
#3 – Use solid, silicone-based teething rings. Sterilise, and then chill these in the refrigerator. Do not freeze teethers; the extreme cold and rigidity can injure babies. Make sure wooden teethers have been adequately oiled, waxed or sealed, preferably by a water-based, natural sealant.
#4 – Teething causes chronic low-grade pain, something that can be soothed if you help take a child’s mind off the pain. Extra cuddles, playtime, or a new toy can help distract from the discomfort.
#5 – Soak clean washcloths in chamomile tea and then refrigerate. Keep them in zip bags and let your baby munch on one when fretting or fussing begins.
Food Can Actually Help Your Teething Baby
- Keep feeding your child. Nursing gives babies quiet comfort. To prevent and ease any biting before breastfeeding, have the child munch on chilled, damp washcloths.
- Cut up bananas and carrots into small pieces and chill. Put into mesh bags, and let your baby bite into them. Other than bananas which are seedless, be aware of frozen fruits. It may cause injury. Always watch your baby eat.
- If your child is already consuming solids, opt for chilled foods such as yogurt, applesauce or pureed frozen fruits. Use a cold spoon to feed your baby.
- Topical pain relievers massaged on babies’ gums may not be helpful, as saliva tends to wash away the ointment. These medications may numb the back of the throat interfering with your baby’s ability to swallow food.
- Ibuprofen and acetaminophen are sometimes prescribed to relieve pain. Be aware of the prescribed daily dose, and always check with your doctor when administering any medication including over-the-counter painkillers. Be especially cautious as these drugs can irritate the stomach and cause more problems.
- Homeopathic teething tablets and gels have already been pulled off the shelves after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning about the dangers of these products .
Got Teeth? What Now…
If you have refrained from cleaning your baby’s mouth with a clean, damp washcloth, then now is the time to begin this routine. Daily mouth hygiene prevents the buildup of bacteria.
Once a tooth has surfaced, you can opt for an infant toothbrush which is softer and gentler than adult versions.
Since your baby does not know how to spit until around three years of age, you want to use only a rice grain-sized amount of baby toothpaste to start cleaning the teeth that have appeared. When your baby reaches two to three years old, upgrade to pea size.
A baby’s first tooth is a milestone in their young life. Even if it does not feel very momentous, you will cherish these teething memories when your child gets older. Hang in there, it’s all worthwhile because of your baby’s smile.
Baby Teething Reference: NHS; Your pregnancy and baby guide, Baby teething symptoms, Baby teething symptoms, October 02, 2016.
 US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health; Teething troubles?, Br Dent J, March 09, 2002. AAP News & Journals Gateway; Pediatrics In Review, Volume 30, Issue 8, Teething, Lisa Markman, MD.
 US Food and Drug Administration; FDA warns against the use of homeopathic teething tablets and gels, September 30, 2016.