When Do Babies Start Teething?
Up until now, your baby may be sporting an adorable toothless smile. But teething may be just around the corner. Most babies start teething around six months. But teething can start as early as three months and as late as a year.
Usually, the two teeth on the bottom center are the first to appear. Anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months later the two teeth on the top center may also sprout. Keep in mind, the order that your baby’s teeth come in can vary.
Once your little one starts teething, a new tooth may break through every few weeks. The last teeth to emerge are usually the back molars. Most kids have all their baby teeth by about age two or three.
Symptoms of Teething
It might be obvious your baby is teething if you see a little tooth bud popping through the gum. But symptoms of teething can start before that first little chopper emerges.
Some babies sail through the teething process without tears while others experience several symptoms. Although the signs of teething can vary, there are a few common symptoms which may occur. For example, if your baby is teething, you may notice he is drooling more than normal. Although all babies drool a bit, suddenly it may seem like the floodgates have opened and your baby’s face is always wet.
You might also notice your baby is gnawing on everything she can get her hands on. That’s because her gums may be sore and biting provides counter pressure. You might also notice your baby is tugging at his ears, since pain from sore gums can travel to the ears.
Don’t be surprised if your baby gets a little fussy, and his eating and sleep patterns become disrupted when he is teething. If your little one seems more irritable than normal and is not sick, he may be cutting a tooth. Doctors disagree on whether teething can cause a low-grade fever. But if a fever is over 101 degrees Fahrenheit is it probably unrelated to teething.
Easing Teething Symptoms
There are several things you can do to help ease your baby’s teething symptoms and make her more comfortable. For instance, since your baby may be drooling all the time, she is at risk for a rash. Wipe her chin and face often to prevent chapping and chafing.
Giving your little one something to chew on may also help provide counter pressure and ease her sore gums. Consider giving your baby a cool, wet washcloth or a teething ring to bite on. But don’t put a teething ring in the freezer since it can become too hard. Also, be sure whatever you give your baby to gnaw on is large enough that it does not pose a choking risk.
If your baby seems to be in pain, over the counter pain medication, such as acetaminophen may help. But always ask your doctor first. Also, don’t apply teething gels without talking to your pediatrician first. Some teething gels contain benzocaine, which may be unsafe for your baby.