Baby Teething - Know When Your Baby's Teething Will Begin And End
Your baby's first teeth will probably appear when she's about 6 months old, although some babies' teeth appear sooner or indeed later than this. Not all her teeth will grow at the same time - in fact, it may be several months before she has a full set of teeth. Baby teething can be accompanied by discomfort and pain so you may find that your baby cries or fusses a lot when a tooth is working its way through the gum. There are some steps you can take to relieve your baby's teething discomfort - we'll talk a little about these a bit later on.
Baby Teething Order
The baby teething order goes something like this: usually, the two bottom front teeth appear first - these are called the lower central incisors. These are followed by the two upper front teeth - the upper central incisors. The rest of the teeth (at the sides and the back of the mouth) will appear over the course of the next few months and years. Your baby's first molars (the big wide teeth near the back of the mouth) will probably show up by the time she's about 1 year old. She probably won't have her last molars until she's 6 years old.
A baby teething chart can help you keep track of your baby' teething order. These can be downloaded from various dental websites on the internet. Your dentist probably has a few copies to spare too.
Early Baby Teething Symptoms
Teething is not a comfortable experience for little ones. The first frontal teeth to appear may not cause as many problems as the side teeth because the side teeth are thicker and blunter - so it's harder and slower for them to break through the gums.
Symptoms of teething may include:
- Drooling - this can begin even few months before the first teeth pop through
- Fussing, crankiness, irritability, crying - all the bad baby behaviors you can think of
- Swelling in your baby's gums
- Your baby chewing on any solid object she can get her hands on
Best Practices For Teething Relief
The best teething practices for making your teething baby more comfortable are as follows:
Gently rubbing your baby's gums with a clean finger or a clean, damp cloth applies a small amount of pressure to the gums, which can provide some short term relief.
Try giving your baby a special teething ring. These are sold in baby stores and online by nearly all baby product manufacturers. The firm rubber teething rings are safest.
A baby bottle filled with water may help to relieve the discomfort or at least distract your baby's attention from it. Make sure you don't put any juice or baby formula in the bottle because your baby is likely to be sucking on it constantly throughout the day - you don't want to risk your baby getting tooth decay from consuming too much sugar.
Cool your baby's mouth - this can be done by giving her a chilled (not frozen!) teething ring or simply by feeding her chilled foods (if she is already on solids).
Excessive Drooling And Crankiness
Excessive crankiness and drooling are classic baby teething problems. Unfortunately, there's not much you can do about the drooling except to dry it up! Keep a dry cloth handy for this purpose and put your baby down to sleep at night on an absorbent sheet. It's important to prevent prolonged contact between your baby's skin and the drool, to avoid skin irritation.
If your baby is excessively cranky, you may want to try a non-prescription baby medicine such as Tylenol. Although there's no reason to think that these medicines are unsafe, you are strongly advised to talk to your baby doctor before giving your child any medications. You may also want to use a numbing gel on your baby's gums, but again it's wise to speak to your doctor first.
Many parents don't feel good about giving medicine to babies because they're cranky. This is a decision you have to weigh up for yourself. Remember that if your baby really is uncomfortable, it's probably not fair for you to withhold medication because you feel like you're "cheating" if you use it to achieve baby comfort.
Teething Folk Remedies
There was a time when it was perfectly acceptable to rub some whiskey on a teething baby's gums! Of course, very few people would approve of this now. When it comes to folk remedies for teething, if you believe in a certain remedy that's been used in your family for generations, you must check it out with your baby doctor first - especially if any herbs or alternative medicines are involved.