Did you know that teething has got nothing to do with your baby’s milestone development and that each baby’s teething pattern may be different? Do you realize that some babies may show teething symptoms from as early as two to three months, with teeth only appearing between four months to one year?
At Parkland Children’s Academy, we find that infants typically start teething between four and seven months, with the average being about six months. At our infant care facility, we encourage parents to relax in the knowledge that no matter when the teeth appear, or what order they appear in, their babies are developing normally and should have a mouth full of teeth by the age of three.
When Should My Baby Start Teething?
Although most teeth appear by a certain age and in a typical order, don’t be alarmed if your baby’s teeth don’t appear exactly as the textbooks say. No matter what order they come in, most toddlers have cut all their baby teeth by the age of three years. The most common order of appearance, with the bottom teeth, usually appearing before the top is:
The two teeth in the center of the mouth are called central incisors. They can appear between age six to twelve months, with the bottom two normally appearing first.
The next teeth to appear are the lateral incisors. Appearing the next spot from the middle, these teeth are usually spotted between age nine and thirteen months.
The First Molars
The first molars, the larger teeth closest to the mouth’s opening, make their appearance between thirteen and nineteen months.
The teeth on either side of the lateral incisors are known as canines. They usually appear anytime between sixteen and twenty-two months.
The Second Molars
The last teeth to erupt are the second molars. These teeth are at the very back and can appear any time between twenty-five and thirty-three months.
Signs That Your Infant May Be Teething
During the first three years, your infant will go through many changes and reach many milestones, but most parents report a significant change when their infant is teething. Some signs that your infant is teething are:
Infants may start drooling excessively anytime between ten weeks and four months and continue to do so for as long as they are teething. To prevent complications that could arise from the skin being constantly wet, change their bib regularly, and pat the skin dry as often as possible.
A Teething Rash
As a result of the excessive drooling, you may notice chafed, chapped, or red skin around your infant’s mouth, chin, neck, and chest. Protect your baby’s skin by patting the area dry and applying a barrier cream and unscented moisturizer as often as necessary.
Coughing and Gagging
This is distressing for parents but is a normal sign that often accompanies teething. There is no need to worry, as long as it is not accompanied by other signs of a cold, flu, or an allergy.
Crying, Whining, and Irritability
When teething, your baby’s mouth hurts, and their gums are very tender. Parents need a lot of patience, and the little one needs a lot of hugs, kisses, and reassurance during this difficult time.
Biting and Chewing
To ease their painful itchy gums, your baby will bite and gnaw on whatever it can get its hands on, including you. It is very important to supervise your infant and ensure that whatever they are chewing is not toxic, and is big enough to not choke on.
Pulling Their Ear Or Rubbing Their Cheek
The gums, ears, and cheeks share a lot of the same nerve pathways, so it is not unusual for your teething infant to pull on its ear or rub its cheek when teething. Contact the pediatrician if the ears are oozing pus, crusty or painful when your infant lies down as this indicates an ear infection, not teething.
Your infant’s sleep patterns may unfortunately change when they are teething. Parents confirm that night-time waking is common during this time, even if their infant was previously sleeping through the night.
Refusing To Eat
This is understandable because even sucking causes discomfort. Try to give them handheld food that they can gnaw on, or cold foods that soothe their gums. Seek medical attention if your baby refuses to eat or drink altogether.
A Mild Fever Or Diarrhea
A mild fever or a few loose stools is not uncommon, but a fever above 99 degrees Fahrenheit or more than two loose stools is not due to teething and must not be ignored.
How To Sooth A Teething Baby
A lot of parents say that they were unprepared for this difficult season in their baby’s life. Apart from pain relievers that must only be given when prescribed by medical professionals, other ways to soothe their painful gums and make them comfortable are:
- Give them teething toys. Proving them with bumpy rubber teething toys can keep them comfortable and entertained for many hours.
- Give them cold things to chew on and drink. Placing their chew toys in the fridge (not freezer), rubbing their gums with a cold wet washcloth, and giving them cold fluids to drink, soothes their painful gums. Feeding them cold yogurt or pureed fruit rather than warm food, whenever possible, also seems to help.
- While cuddling them, spend some time massaging their gums with your clean finger.
- Avoid topical numbing agents and over-the-counter gels and herbal or homeopathic remedies. Some pediatricians also advise against using Amber teething necklaces because of the choking and strangulation risk that they pose.
Parkland Children’s Academy, South Florida’s Infant Care Facility Of Choice
Parkland Children’s Academy is a family-orientated facility that provides specialized, separate infant care for infants from six weeks to twenty-four months. Our caring, qualified staff are happy to answer any questions and take you on a guided tour of our facility. Contact us on (954) 688-5877.