Teething Symptoms

 

Teething is one of your babies many significant milestones.  

Your babies teeth will make their grand gummy entrance typically between 3 and 12 months of age. 
It is common for signs and symptoms of teething to begin as early as three months but you may not see an appearance for many months. There are various signs and symptoms of teething and the type and severity of those symptoms vary wildly from baby to baby.

Excessive Dribbling

Dribbling is one of the first teething symptoms. From three to four months of age you may see your baby start to dribble more often than normal. Be sure to keep bubs fluids up at this time and it may save you a few costume changes if you pop a bib on. I often hear of mums saying their bubs clothing is soaked!

 

Common Symptoms

 

Swollen Cheeks

Your baby's gums may also become inflamed when a tooth is coming through. Their cheeks may appear red and swollen.

 

Biting and Gnawing

It is common for a teething baby to chew on their fingers, toys or anything they can get their mouth around to help relieve the pressure on their gums. If this is the case, offer them a teething ring. A personal tip is to freeze a wet clean cloth and offer it once frozen.

 

Diarrhoea

Most parents usually notice slightly looser bowel movements when baby is teething.  A recent study performed by an Australian Children’s Hospital found this to be the most common symptom of teething although there are still many parents and paediatricians that will disagree with this recent study. It is believed that the most likely cause of this is the extra saliva swallowed, which then loosens the stool. 


Low Grade Fever

A Fever is another symptom that doctors are sometimes hesitant to directly link with teething. However, many parents find their baby gets a low grade fever whilst teething. Notify your doctor if their temperature rises above 39 degrees or if the temperature remains elevated for more than 24 hours.

 

Ear Pulling

Pain in the gums may travel to the ears and cheeks particularly when the back molars are coming in. This is why you may see your baby rubbing their cheeks or pulling on their ears.  The pain in the mouth throbs throughout the baby's head so they pull their ears believing that it will provide relief. Keep in mind that pulling at an ear can also be a sign of an ear infection, especially when accompanied by a fever. 

 

Chin Rash

The extra saliva from excessive dribbling can cause the skin around the chin and mouth to become irritated and form a mild rash. To help prevent this, gently wipe your baby’s mouth and chin regularly throughout the day and rub some Vaseline on to prevent further irritation.

 

Irritability

Cutting a tooth can be a very painful, drawn out experience therefore baby may become irritable and cry more frequently.

 

Off Their Food

Babies may not want to feed as often as usual due to their painful swollen gums.

 

While most parents generally agree that some or all of the symptoms above occurred around the time of teething, it is still recommended that you check with your doctor to rule out any other possible causes for these symptoms, especially if your baby is running a fever (temperature above 39C) and/or appears lethargic or unwell.

 

Common Questions

 

WHICH TEETH SHOULD I EXPECT TO SEE FIRST?

The first teeth that are most likely to come through are the two middle bottom ones, followed by the two top middle one. Although this is common it is not unusual for babies teeth to come through in a different order. Teeth usually come through in pairs - one on the right side, one on the left side. Even four at a time....ouch! The last teeth to appear are the second molars, found in the upper and lower back of his mouth. They are usually in place by baby's second year. By your baby's second birthday, he may even have a full set of 20 baby teeth!

Tooth development is hereditary, so if you got your teeth early, it is likely your baby will, too.

 

HOW CAN I HELP MY BABY THROUGH TEETHING?

You cannot do anything to encourage your baby's teeth to appear, but you can provide him with some comfort. Give your baby something cool to chew on, such as a teething ring or clean, wet cloth kept in the freezer. If they seem to want to bite on something try a teething rusk. Some babies like you to gently rub their gums with a clean finger to help soothe the ache. Your baby may get some relief from eating cold foods, such as yoghurt or apple puree, straight from the fridge.

 

If your baby is in distress, you can give him sugar free infant paracetamol or ibuprofen, as long as he is three months or older. Always follow the correct dosage instructions on the packet.

Among these great ideas is of course Amber Teething Jewellery!

 

WHICH TEETH ARE MOST PAINFUL TO COME THROUGH?

Each child is different. For one baby cutting a tooth might happen overnight without pain, while another child unfortunately might have to go through a long, drawn out and painful experience causing much distress. However, there are certain teeth that have been known to cause the most pain such as the Canine teeth - ouch! These teeth generally come through between 16-22 months. The molars are also known to be extremely painful when coming though.

 

CAN TEETH BREAK THROUGH THE SURFACE AND THEN GO BACK DOWN UNDER THE GUMS?

Yes, it is common for a tooth to break through the surface of the gums and then go back down again.

 

HOW SHOULD I CARE FOR MY BABIES TEETH?

Once your baby has teeth, health professionals advise not to put him or her to sleep with a bottle of milk or be breastfeed to sleep. Milk of any kind can pool in baby's mouth at night and lead to tooth decay. If your baby has the occasional sweets or cake, make sure to brush his teeth soon after he eats. You can also encourage him to finish up with something savoury such as a piece of cheese.

Definitely do not give your baby a pacifier/dummy that has been dipped in a sugary substance as it can cause a lot of damage to babies teeth.

 

WHEN SHOULD I START BRUSHING MY BABIES TEETH?

Most pediatricians and dentists agree to begin cleaning your babies teeth as soon as they appear. The gums and first teeth can be cleaned with a wet cloth or infant toothbrush. While a toothbrush isn’t necessary unless your baby has a tooth, it can get your baby in the habit of brushing. Your baby’s teeth and gums are very soft and delicate, so vigorous brushing is not necessary. You don't have to brush in a certain direction, just try to get any bits of food out, and clean the surface of his teeth and his gumline. It’s also recommended that you brush your baby’s tongue, since it can also carry germs. If you want to use toothpaste, be sure to use toothpaste designed for infants. Do not use adult toothpaste as babies have a tendency to swallow. Try to brush your babies teeth at least two times per day preferably after meals. The most important time to brush is just before bed. Since the production of saliva decreases during sleep, you will want to make sure your baby has a clean mouth before bedtime. This will prevent bacteria and plaque from decaying the teeth at night. Make brushing your baby's teeth a fun part of his bedtime routine. A personal tip is to give baby a toothbrush to play with in the bath. It is almost guaranteed they will brush around themselves.

 

WHEN DO I HAVE TO START TAKING MY BABY TO THE DENTIST?

If you maintain your baby’s oral hygiene, you should not need to take your baby to the dentist until they are around three years of age.

 

 

HOW LONG WILL MY BABY HAVE HIS FIRST SET OF TEETH?

Most children have a full set of primary teeth by the time they are three years old.  These teeth usually last until about the age of six, when the teeth that were first to appear become loose and fall out as the second teeth begin to push through the gums. The primary teeth continue falling out until roughly the age of twelve. These ages mentioned above are only averages and your child may follow an earlier or later pattern.

 

HOW MANY TEETH DO WE GET?

By 12 to 13 years of age, most children have 28 permanent teeth. 

 

TEETHING CHART

 

 

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