So many of the cherished milestones that our babies go through are moments that we should appreciate. After all, it’s their birth, first words, and first steps which are events that all parents should remember for the rest of their lives—but teething? Not quite the same, I think this one is best to be forgotten in a hurry!
After all, who wants to see their baby in pain? It’s no secret that teething can cause a lot of problems for little ones, and they certainly seem to want to make this heard themselves.
What you need to realize, however, is that that teething is a natural and necessary stage of your child’s development. Yes, they may scream, shout and begin biting everything in sight, but don’t worry, as it is wholly natural and a part of your baby’s development.
In this guide, we are going to outline when exactly babies begin teething, and offer additional insights into all the things which you need to be aware of.
When does teething begin?
Believe it or not, but babies begin to grow teeth when they are in the womb. I know it sounds strange, but the teeth themselves won’t become visible until your baby’s first year. Usually, you will be able to spot your baby’s primary teeth around 6-9 months old. Your baby is probably going to become a little bit more unsettled. This is normal and just something you will have to bear with.
However, some babies do not fully grow teeth until after 12 months. As with all other things relating to your baby, there are no exact rules. Once your baby is between 2-3 years old, the chances are that they will have grown a full set of teeth.
How many teeth do my babies usually grow, and when?
While there will always be a little bit of ambiguity regarding when your baby’s teeth grow, a general rule of thumb is to take the age of your baby in months and take the number six away. This gives you a rough estimate as to how many teeth your baby should have.
So, for example, a baby that is around the age of 18 months should have roughly 18-6=12 teeth. If your baby isn’t exactly on this mark, there is no need to worry. As we mentioned above, there is still a little bit of leeway in these sorts of calculations.
What order or shape of baby teeth first appear in?
Most children have teeth that begin to show in pairs, this starts typically with their bottom two teeth first, and then work their way round to the back.
You would usually find that the front teeth and the teeth either side of them often appear between the ages of 6-18 months. Around about the same time, you might notice the teeth towards the back of the mouth beginning to form. But you will have to wait almost two years before you can see the pointy, canine teeth at the side of your mouth and the teeth at the back beginning to form.
What happens when my child begins teething?
Usually just before your child starts to reveal its teeth, you will notice that the gums begin to swell and become tender to touch, this means that anything else which is added to their mouths may cause further pain. You might notice that their gum leaves a slight split to make way for the new tooth. On other occasions, you may see blistering on the gum itself or somewhat of bruising before the tooth can fully emerge.
Again it’s worth mentioning that if your child doesn’t follow this exact pattern, it’s no cause for concern. Teething also is not a constant pattern that takes place from 6 months to 3 years. Most teeth only take about a week or so to erupt. So your little one won’t be in agony for very long throughout this period.
How to help your child throughout the teething process.
Teething isn’t comfortable. Not for the child or the parent. This means that your child may become very grumpy, which is problematic for you too. But as you well know, there are many things which can settle your child, whether that is a soft toy, their favorite blanket or a little bit of cuddling together.
Teething won’t last forever. It will pass eventually. So when your child begins teething, try to sit back and enjoy the process as much as you can; knowing that one day you will look back and smile.
Other things to keep in mind
About the age of one, you should try to make your baby’s first dental appointment. A dentist will make sure that all teeth are developing as expected and ensure that there are no dental issues. They will also offer additional advice on how you can properly manage your child’s dental hygiene. If you know that there are no pediatric dentists in your area, you can find a dentist who is qualified in seeing young children.
As soon as your child has its first tooth, you ought to begin brushing their teeth. It’s usually best to start around twice a day. Take a smear of toothpaste roughly the same size as a pea, and clean after it has had the last meal of the day. Also make sure that your baby doesn’t have a bottle in bed, as it can lead to tooth decay in the future. It’s typically best to keep the toothpaste on the toothbrush until the age of 6 to ensure you can monitor your child’s teeth.
Furthermore, you should assist your child with brushing until they reach the age of 7 or 8, teaching them to spit out excess toothpaste as soon as possible.
In conclusion, then, babies normally start to teeth between the age of 6-9 months. This process will continue towards the age of 2 or 3. In between then, teeth can grow at almost any pace, but most will follow the above outline.
Remember, it may not be easy at the time, but chances are you will look back on these memories, and truly cherish them.