Ultimate Teething Guide: Baby Teeth Coming In

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First deciduous teeth usually tend to pop up at the age of three to twelve months. In this article, we offer you a couple of key indicators that help to determine when your baby starts teething along with some solutions on how to relieve painful feelings.

It can be quite unexpected to notice the baby’s first tooth after it somehow has already appeared. At that point, you eventually realize that all the recent symptoms weren’t random. There are some prevalent indicators that give you a clear understanding that something is happening. Teething is a complicated and tiresome process so be patient and enjoy parenting chores.

teething baby

The main signs of teething are quite distinctive. If you notice a few symptoms at the same time, it may indicate cutting teeth. So, if your kid has started crying for no reason, is biting a lot or wakes up at night more often than before, it is time to prepare yourself for a new stage in your kid’s development – teething. 

If the baby gets annoyed easily, touches his/her ear or cheek too much, it is also a sign. When a baby drools excessively or rejects food, it can also mean the start of teething. Among other symptoms, vomiting, baby teething rash, and cough can be noticed.

However, not all kids suffer from these unpleasant symptoms. Those lucky ones sometimes even get their first teeth without noticing.

Anyway, it is better to be 100% prepared and know all the pitfalls, along with the key symptoms of teething and solutions to ease the pain. So that you would know for sure what to do and how to help your sweet little kid.

At What Age Should I Expect My Kid’s First Tooth?

The previously described signs can appear much earlier than the first teeth. It may even take up to 3 months between the first discomfort to the first teeth. Usually, kids start teething at age of 6 months approximately. However, all babies are different. Sometimes they turn 1 year old and still do not have any teeth, while their peers have already been chewing some solid food at that point. To cut a long story short, it depends on a lot of factors, and it is totally okay to get the first teeth sooner or later than mentioned in the medical norms.

baby teething symptoms

Everything You Need to Know About First Teeth

Some parents may panic about how it is possible to determine when their child has started teething. The kid won’t understand what’s going on but adults need to be extremely thoughtful and attentive to the symptoms. Here are the top 9 key signs of teething:

#1. Your baby starts biting.

Teething provokes a lot of unpleasant feelings in the mouth, so children instinctively want to bite something to ease that pain. If your kid starts chewing everything around them, this may mean they have started teething.

#2. Your baby is drooling all the time.

At first, you may be even surprised that such a great amount of saliva can be produced in the mouth of a small baby. However, it is an absolutely normal course of events. Get ready for the first temporary tooth.

#3. Your baby has a teething rash.

This symptom derives from the previous one. The drool can provoke chafe, red spots and rash near the lips and lower down to the chest. A good solution would be to apply some tender ointment to build a protective ‘wall’ between the saliva and the kid’s delicate skin.

#4. Your baby is weeping for no reason.

Teething is undoubtedly a painful process, and you need to keep reminding yourself of this fact while dealing with your kid’s screaming and moods. This is the only way babies can share their pain and express their negative emotions and feelings, especially such unpleasant ones. In addition to that, they are also scared because they have no clue what’s going on with their body. Luckily, you do have a clear understanding of the teething process and have enough wisdom and patience to support your child and calm them down without freaking out yourself. 

teething baby crying

Teething is a stressful experience both for children and their parents. But do not get frustrated or upset. It won’t happen overnight but things do get easier with time. As a rule, those teeth that pop up later ache less than the first ones. Also, children tend to acclimate to this state and overcome this much easier every next time. Ask your pediatrician or dental hygienist for effective remedies to relieve the painful feelings.

#5. You are disturbed by regular baby’s cough or vomiting.

If you are sure that your kid has not caught a cold or got sick, then you have nothing to worry about. These symptoms can indicate teething and be provoked simply by their drool.

#6. Your baby wakes up a lot at night.

As you must have already understood, teething is no quick and simple process. It causes lots of discomfort so your kid may struggle to sleep at peace at night. Lucky you if they wake up and then fall asleep all by themselves. If not, then you have no choice but ease their pain immediately, otherwise, sleeplessness will result in extra tiredness, petulance, and being whimsical in addition to main teething symptoms.

teething baby crying

#7. You notice baby’s uncharacteristic petulance.

Such behavior is quite reasonable, as teeth pressure the gums, and your child constantly feels pain or at least tiresome discomfort. So try not to blame or scold them for that behavior. That’s not the baby’s fault at all as they are simply affected by teething. 

Please, do not get scared of this stage of parenting as not all children experience such strong symptoms.

#8. Your baby is touching their ear or cheek.

If rubbing a cheek is a reasonable reaction to the discomfort in the mouth, what about ears? How are they connected to baby teeth? The answer is: through the same neural pathways. So those painful feelings can spread to different body parts. Use it as another signal for a better understanding of your baby.

We kindly remind you that all the described symptoms can indicate an illness, so do not neglect to check other reasons for vomiting, crying, or touching ears.

#9. Your baby rejects food…

…Even though they might be really hungry and this is their favorite meal. For instance, both drinking milk from a bottle and chewing food may provoke even stronger pain. You have to be emphatic at this point and determine whether your baby is just being whimsical or their gums are really aching. Do not underestimate this last but not the least symptom. Being hungry for a long time will only worsen the baby’s general condition.

You can never guess what is going to happen: the teething syndrome and intensity of these symptoms differ in different kids. Your baby may experience only one of them while your friend’s son may suffer from several symptoms at the same time.

What Is the Order for Temporary Teeth to Pop Up?

According to the AAP, the first teeth tend to appear in the middle of the bottom jaw, then in the upper jaw. Afterward, teeth appear in a bit chaotic way: front teeth, back teeth, front teeth again. Sometimes baby top teeth come first. Age differs as well: baby can start teething at 2-3 months or primary teeth can pop up at 11 months. 

For more information, take a look at the chart below:

baby teeth eruption chart
Photo credit: babycenter.com


Can I give my baby some over-the-counter remedies to treat teething pain?

We do not have licensed healthcare providers in our team so we don’t have any right to give any kind of medical advice. You’d better consult your pediatrician or family doctor about any medications to help a teething baby.

The FDA recommends that parents don’t use homeopathic teething medicines (both tablets and gels)and remedies that contain benzocaine products because they can provoke a condition called methemoglobinemia that can reduce the amount of oxygen in the blood and can pose serious risks to the baby’s health.

Is it painful to breastfeed when baby start teething?

Teething and breastfeeding come hand in hand when the baby’s first tooth started to pop up at an early age. The WHO recommends that mothers breastfeed their babies till the age of 2; while up to the age of 6 months baby’s nutrition should consist solely of breast milk (no water and other food).

Unfortunately, baby bites are inevitable at some point, and sometimes kids do it on purpose when they are already full but bored and want to play around. Most often, bites are another symptom of teething. However, they shouldn’t be a reason to stop breastfeeding. Take them off the breast to end the nursing session, then talk to your baby and explain to them that it hurts when they bite.
Nursing mothers just have to get enough patience because the habit of biting is temporary and babies learn how and when to stop pretty quickly.

How to soothe sore gums?

There are a lot of ways to help a teething baby. You can apply cold to the gums, rub them a bit with a clean finger or damp gauze pad, offer the baby some solid foods such as a peeled carrot or cucumber. 
However, be careful with homemade teething biscuits as the baby may bite a big lump and this may pose a chocking hazard. The same goes for an amber teething necklace. You can also offer a teether, for instance, a teething ring, and other baby teething toys such as Sophie the Giraffe.

Teething and sleep: How to ease baby’s discomfort at night?

You may notice that at night your baby’s discomfort seems bigger. Typically this is because there are lots of distractions during the day, such as toys, books, walks, traveling with parents in the car, etc. Teething is the reason why your baby started waking up at night more often than before. To ease the pain, just comfort your baby more and add some soothing techniques. Sometimes you may even need to repeat the ritual.

When to start brushing baby teeth?

You’ll have to start taking care of your baby’s first tooth as soon as it comes in. Regular cleaning allows reducing the risk of tooth decay which may happen to kids of all ages. Temporary teeth have to be brushed with a soft toothbrush without toothpaste (because small children just swallow it).

All the recommendations and tips listed here are based on the information provided by a range of highly respected institutions, among which are the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), WHO (World Health Organization), and AAP (the American Academy of Pediatrics).

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Mike Goodman

Mike is a dad to three and an M.D. with a medical degree from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He is responsible for making sure every single medical fact published on our website is right, accurate, and compliant with the recommendations and guidelines of highly authoritative medical sources. He is crazy about traveling, sports, and a healthy lifestyle. And in his family, Mike is the one responsible for healthy nutrition and keeping every family member sports-oriented.

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