When Do Babies Start Teething?

Teething is a natural process that all babies go through as their first teeth break through the gums. It’s a significant milestone for both babies and their parents, as it marks the beginning of solid food and proper oral hygiene. While most babies start teething around 6 months of age, the timing can vary and some may start earlier or later. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the details of teething, including when it typically starts, the symptoms to look out for, and how to alleviate your baby’s discomfort.

What is teething?

Teething is the process of teeth breaking through the gums and emerging into the mouth. It usually starts with the bottom front teeth (the lower central incisors), followed by the top front teeth (the upper central incisors). The rest of the baby teeth (also called primary teeth) will typically come in over the next two years.

Teething can be a painful and uncomfortable experience for babies. The pressure of the tooth pushing through the gums can cause inflammation and soreness. Babies may also drool more than usual during this time as their bodies produce extra saliva to moisten the gums and help the tooth emerge.

When do babies start teething?

The average age for a baby to start teething is around 6 months, but it can vary widely. Some babies may start teething as early as 3 months old, while others may not start until they are 12 months old or even later. There is no exact science to predicting when a baby will start teething, and it can be different for each child.

There are several factors that can affect the timing of teething. Genetics can play a role, as the age at which a baby starts teething may be similar to that of the parents or other family members. Other factors that may influence the timing of teething include the baby’s overall health and development, as well as environmental and lifestyle factors.

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Symptoms of teething:

As the tooth begins to emerge, the gums may appear swollen and tender to the touch. Babies may also exhibit a number of other symptoms as a result of teething, including:

  • Drooling: As the body produces extra saliva to moisten the gums, babies may drool more than usual during this time.
  • Fussiness: Teething can be uncomfortable and cause a baby to feel irritable. They may cry more than usual or become more clingy.
  • Biting: Babies may try to chew on anything within reach in an attempt to alleviate the pressure in their gums. This may include toys, fingers, or other objects.
  • Difficulty sleeping: The discomfort of teething can make it difficult for babies to sleep through the night. They may wake up more frequently or have a harder time falling asleep.
  • Mild fever: It’s not uncommon for babies to have a low-grade fever when teething, but a fever that is over 101°F (38°C) is not usually due to teething and should be evaluated by a healthcare provider.
  • Diarrhea: Some babies may experience mild diarrhea when teething, but this is not a common symptom. If your baby has diarrhea that is severe or lasts for more than a few days, it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider.
  • Rash around the mouth: Some babies may develop a rash around the mouth as a result of drooling. The rash is usually harmless and will clear up on its own.

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How to alleviate teething discomfort:

Teething can be a trying time for both babies and their parents, but there are several things you can do to help alleviate your baby’s discomfort. Here are a few suggestions:

Offer a teething toy:

There are many teething toys on the market that are specifically designed to provide relief for babies’ sore gums. These toys are often made of soft, pliable materials that are easy for babies to chew on, and may also have textured surfaces to help massage the gums.

Try a clean, damp washcloth:

A cold, damp washcloth can provide some relief for a baby’s sore gums. You can also place the washcloth in the refrigerator for a little extra chill factor. Just be sure to wring out the washcloth well before giving it to your baby to prevent choking.

Massage the gums:

Gently massaging your baby’s gums with a clean finger can help alleviate discomfort and stimulate the eruption of the tooth. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before doing this.

Give over-the-counter teething products a try:

There are a variety of over-the-counter teething products available, including gels and tablets. These products contain mild pain relievers that can help alleviate your baby’s discomfort. It’s important to carefully follow the dosing instructions for these products, as using too much can be harmful to your baby. It’s also important to avoid using products that contain benzocaine, as they can be harmful to babies.

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FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

At what age do babies typically start teething?

The average age for a baby to start teething is around 6 months, but it can vary. Some babies may start teething as early as 3 months, while others may not start until they are 12 months old.

What are the symptoms of teething?

The most common symptoms of teething include drooling, fussiness, biting, and difficulty sleeping. Some babies may also have a mild fever, diarrhea, or rash around the mouth.

How can I alleviate my baby’s teething discomfort?

There are several ways to help alleviate your baby’s teething discomfort. You can offer a teething toy or a clean, damp washcloth for your baby to chew on, or you can try massaging your baby’s gums with a clean finger. Over-the-counter teething gels or tablets may also provide some relief. It’s important to avoid using teething products that contain benzocaine, as they can be harmful to babies.

Is it normal for a baby to have a fever when teething?

It is not uncommon for a baby to have a low-grade fever when teething, but a fever that is over 101°F (38°C) is not usually due to teething and should be evaluated by a healthcare provider.

Conclusion:

Teething is a natural and important milestone in a baby’s development, but it can be a trying time for both babies and their parents. Understanding the process of teething and being aware of the signs and symptoms can help you better support your baby through this transition. By offering a teething toy, trying a cold, damp washcloth, massaging the gums, or giving an over-the-counter teething product a try, you can help alleviate your baby’s discomfort and make the process a little easier for both of you.

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