Most babies get their first teeth between 6 and 10 months of age. The lower central teeth are typically the first to erupt. Babies get all of their 20 primary teeth by about 30 months of age. Following the shedding of a baby’s primary teeth, the formation and eruption of 32 permanent teeth begins. This whole process starts from about the sixth week in utero until late adolescence.
Teething is a normal process in the development of teeth that usually begins at about 6 months of age and lasts until your baby is about 3 years old. Don’t be alarmed! This does not mean that a baby will be in constant pain for 24 months. The pain of teething may last about 8 days while a tooth or pair of teeth erupt. Typical teething symptoms include:
In managing teething symptoms, keep in mind that many pediatricians think of teething as a stage in development, and not necessarily a condition that needs medicine.
Nonetheless, teething symptoms are real. The following recommendations may help your little one survives this phase of tooth eruption:
Chewing on a chilled (not frozen) teething ring
Massaging gums using your clean finger; gently massage the gums for some temporary relief
Using a cold washcloth from the fridge that your little one can gnaw on
Avoid homeopathic teething tablets, teething gels, or creams. The FDA warns against using any topical teething medication as they “offer little to no benefit and are associated with serious risk”.
If your child has a fever greater than 101 degrees Fahrenheit or seems to be very uncomfortable, then it is best to consult with your baby’s doctor.
Once your little one has their first tooth, use a cool, damp washcloth or a soft-bristle baby toothbrush to keep the teeth and area around each tooth clean. Next step...schedule that first dental appointment and before you know it, your little one will soon be brushing their teeth all on their own!