When Do Babies Start Teething? All You Need to Know About Baby’s Teething Adventure

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Parents fear the dreaded “T” word. Teething. Teething can strike dread in the hearts of even the most seasoned parents. Cutting teeth gets a bad wrap.

While it can sometimes be a painful process, experts believe many symptoms are blamed on baby teething when teeth erupting may not truly be the cause.

Still, many parents wonder “when do babies start teething?”. It is completely normal to find yourself googling signs of teething when your child is fussy, restless, or won’t eat.

To help you make it through this milestone with ease, we have compiled a helpful guide covering the basics of a teething baby.

CHAPTER 1:

When Do Babies Start Teething?
Teething Early or Later Than Expected

when do babies start teething gif 1 | Baby Journey
Source: Tenor

Crying baby? Teething. Baby won’t eat or sleep? Teething. Fever? Teething. My mom and grandma seemingly blamed everything on teething.

As a new mom I wondered, is my baby really teething? When does teething begin and end? Here’s the truth about babies and tooth eruption.

It can be hard to tell exactly when your child is teething. Most often a tooth will appear and then you will finally have an explanation for your child’s unusual behavior as of late.

Still, if you think your baby is experiencing symptoms of teething early or later than expected, it can be concerning.

What’s the Typical Age Babies Start Teething?

Many babies will get their first tooth when they are around six months old, but a lot happens before the tooth appears from the gums. Teething symptoms can begin long before you see teeth.

It isn’t uncommon to see a 3-month-old teething. However, there isn’t a specific age given for when does teething start or when do babies get teeth.

If you’re frantically searching the internet for “when do babies teeth?” expect a wide age range, from as young as baby teeth at 3 months to over a year old. Doctors generally consider it normal for a first tooth to appear anywhere from two to three months to twelve months of age. During this time your baby will probably deal with symptoms of teething.

Chewing everything can be a sign of teething. - When Do Babies Start Teething | Baby Journey
Chewing everything can be a sign of teething.

Why Is My Baby Teething Early?

Teething at 3 months is usually considered normal. However, babies can have a first tooth erupt at three months, which means they will experience teething at one month old or even two months old. This isn’t typically a cause for concern. Some babies are even born with teeth!

Teething is a normal part of a child’s growth and development, even if it is a bit early. [1] Signs of early teething are the same as those your child would exhibit if they were teething at the average age. They are also similar to those experienced by late teething.

Why Is My Baby Teething Later Than Expected?

Late teething isn’t usually a cause for concern either. Teeth do play a role in chewing and oral development, but some kids won’t get their first teeth until around 15 months. Late teething can have something to do with your child’s genetics, nutrition, and health.

Some experts believe that if your little one was born prematurely or at a low birth weight they could get their first tooth later than average. [2] Disorders, especially those that affect the endocrine system can delay teething. Lack of certain minerals and vitamins, like calcium and Vitamin D, can stall teeth erupting or result in brittle teeth.

Late teething is generally considered two or fewer teeth at or after baby’s first birthday; even though the range of first tooth appearance can extend up to 15 months. However, some suggest that if your child does not have any teeth by nine months a visit to their pediatrician is warranted. [3]

CHAPTER 2:

Teething Progress and Baby’s Age

Once you find yourself searching for how early can babies teeth, you can plan on researching teething signs often and until your child is at least 33 months.

Baby’s teething is a new milestone and adventure altogether, so it’s normal for you as a parent to be curious about teething duration, symptoms and more.

In this section, we talk about:

  • how long teething lasts
  • types of teeth to expect as your baby grows
Source: Dribbble

How Long Does Teething Last?

Teething can begin around 2-3 months. It will then last until approximately 33 months, or when your child is close to three years old.

However, children continue to go through the process of new teeth erupting as they lose their baby teeth and adult teeth come in. As soon as those signs of baby teething first appear, it can feel like teething never ends.

Number of Teeth vs Age

Below you will find the average amount of teeth a child will have at each age. Teeth commonly appear in pairs.

Age
Number of Teeth
6-10 months
2
8-12 months
4
9-13 months
6
10-16 months
8
13-19 months
10
14-18 months
12
16-22 months
14
17-23 months
16
23-31 months
18
25-33 months
20
Age
Number of Teeth
6-10 months
2
8-12 months
4
9-13 months
6
10-16 months
8
13-19 months
10
14-18 months
12
16-22 months
14
17-23 months
16
23-31 months
18
25-33 months
20

The Order of Baby’s Tooth Eruption

Teeth generally come in twos. For example, little ones usually get their two front bottom teeth first at nearly the same time. These are incisors that grow first before the eruption of molars. Read on to find out when you can expect each pairing of teeth to appear.

  • Lower central incisor: 6-10 months
  • Upper central incisor: 8-12 months
  • Upper lateral incisor: 9-13 months
  • Lower lateral incisor: 10-16 months
  • Upper first molar: 13-19 months
  • Lower first molar: 14-18 months
  • Upper canine or cuspid: 16-22 months
  • Lower canine or cuspid: 17-23 months
  • Lower second molar: 23-31 months
  • Upper second molar: 25-33 months
An overview of baby's teeth eruption. - When Do Babies Start Teething | Baby Journey
An overview of baby’s teeth eruption. Source: mouthhealthy.org

CHAPTER 3:

What To Expect When Your Baby Is Teething? Signs & Symptoms To Look Out For

Source: Smile Steven

New parents receive a lot of advice from friends and family. Some of the most prevalent advice has to do with teething.

It can seem like everything gets blamed on those pesky teeth, leaving you questioning how to know when baby is teething for real.

We talk about the common symptoms parents will observe when their little one is going though the teething phase below.

Symptoms of Normal Teething

Like other types of developmental milestones, your baby will show signs of discomfort and pain when he or she is teething. Common teething signs include [4]:

  • Drooling
  • Biting and chewing
  • Rashes (usually from drool)
  • Cheek rubbing
  • Ear pulling
  • Diarrhea (again from excess drool)
  • Irritability
  • Swollen gums
  • Change in eating habits
  • Difficulty sleeping

Pediatricians don’t always agree whether or not teething can cause a low-grade fever. The symptoms of teething can easily be confused with a cold. If your child is running a fever or acting unusual, it can be a good idea to take them in to be seen by a doctor.

While teething can make children uncomfortable, it typically doesn’t make them sick. If your child is vomiting, coughing, has a high fever, or rashes on their body it probably isn’t teething but an illness.

CHAPTER 4:

Soothing Your Baby’s Teething Pain

Unfortunately, teething can cause pain and irritation for your child. There are a handful of ways, from pain-relieving items to teething foods, in which you can soothe your child and ease their discomfort.

We talk about some common issues you may face and list down some ideas for teething pain relief as well as things to avoid giving your teething baby.

Source: Tenor

Common Problems with Baby Teething and Solids

Most babies are ready for solids around six months of age. Although at this age they generally start with cereals or purees that teeth aren’t necessary for, be sure to follow your doctor’s guidance for adding solids to your little one’s diet, even if they have teeth erupting.

One common problem parents may encounter with teeth and solids is a teething baby not eating. Bottle-fed and nursing babies may find the suction caused by drinking milk uncomfortable. It will take time and patience to get a teething bottle to take a bottle or breastfeed.

If your child is regularly eating solids and suddenly won’t eat due to teething, you may need to try softer foods for the time being. Yogurt and fruit or veggie purees are good options. It can be concerning when a teething baby won’t eat, but rest assured the symptoms should be short-lived.

How to Soothe Your Baby’s Teething Pain

Nobody likes to be in pain, and your teething baby is no exception! Here are some of the effective ways to provide some pain relief to your child:

Teether. A teether is one of the most common tools. When your child bites on these firm toys they can help relieve some of the pressure. Teething mitts can be fun to chew and protect against drool.

Teethers can also help the tooth to poke through the gum sooner, decreasing pain. Some teethers can be placed in the freezer so they can provide cooling comfort as your child chews.

Teething Cracker. Unsweetened, hard teething crackers can be an option for older babies. Like a teether, these crackers can help provide relief. Some of the popular teething biscuit options include those from Gerber and Happy Family Organics. Alternatively, you can also DIY your own healthy teething biscuits for your child!

Teething wafers can be tasty to chew. - When Do Babies Start Teething | Baby Journey
Teething wafers can be tasty to chew. Source: mamanatural.com

Cold Water. If your child is old enough to drink water from a sippy cup, providing them with occasional sips of cold water can feel good on their irritated gums.

Massage. Using a clean finger with short nails you can gently massage your child’s gums. If no teeth are exposed you can even let them gently bite on your finger.

Frozen Food Teethers. Babies who have transitioned to solids can use frozen food teethers as one of the best soothing teething foods. These teethers have very fine mesh bags attached to a plastic grip.

You can place frozen food, like a banana or strawberry within the mesh bag and close the lid. Your child can then safely chew on the frozen food within the mesh for both relief and a tasty treat!

The mesh is a safer way to offer frozen fruit to your little one.- When Do Babies Start Teething | Baby Journey
The mesh is a safer way to offer frozen fruit to your little one. Source: munchkin.com

What To Avoid When Soothing Teething Babies

There are some wonderful home remedies for teething, but there are also a few that can do more harm than good.

Some doctors advise that it is occasionally okay to give your child an age-appropriate dose of pain-relieving medication. [5] This can be something like acetaphetamine or ibuprofen if your child is older than six months.

However, you don’t want to rely on medication all the time. Be sure to ask your doctor before giving your little one any meds.

Teething Necklaces. Teething necklaces, commonly made out of baltic amber, have become very popular. But be careful, there is no hard evidence that they work and they could pose a choking or strangulation risk to your child.

Topical Gels. There are many teething gels available. These gels usually don’t do much good. They can easily be rinsed away by all that drool your baby is producing. Also, they could numb your baby’s throat, making it difficult to swallow.

Never give your child medication or gel with benzocaine. The FDA reports it could cause serious side effects for children younger than 2. [6]

Tablets. All-natural teething tablets haven’t been proven to do much good for teething babies. They also have ingredients that could be questionable and possibly make your child ill. These products typically aren’t regulated by the FDA either.

Alcohol. Never give your child alcohol. It is not safe and can cause serious harm.

Ice or Ice Cream. Ice or ice cream aren’t great choices for a teething baby. Ice poses a choking hazard. Ice cream has lots of sugars that are not ideal for a young child’s growth and development.

CHAPTER 5:

Caring For A Teething Baby

Source: Dribbble

Now that your child has teeth poking through, you need to start caring for them! Having swollen gums and too few teeth aren’t an excuse to skip dental care for your young child.

How to go about it though? Caring for your child’s teeth may seem scary but it’s actually easy! Let’s find out.

How to Maintain Your Baby’s Dental Health

When your baby is teething, be sure to begin a good dental hygiene regimen. This includes brushing their teeth after meals. Adding fluoride to your baby’s diet may also be recommended if they are old enough.

The AAP recommends that a rice-sized grain of fluoride can be used when the first tooth appears. [7] Alternatively, there are many non-fluoride kinds of toothpaste available if you worry about your little one swallowing the paste. Work with your doctor or dentist to find the right baby’s dental care option for you.

Speaking of dentists, you can schedule your baby’s first dental appointment, just for a quick check-up. They will likely tell you to limit the intake of sweet foods and drinks.

This is beneficial both for your child’s teeth and their general health. Tooth eruption is a big milestone and brings about more new, fun experiences for you and your little one.

A finger toothbrush can be a great first toothbrush choice. - When Do Babies Start Teething | Baby Journey
A finger toothbrush can be a great first toothbrush choice. Source: thrivemarket.com

Teething, A Terrific Milestone!

Hopefully, you feel like you have a better understanding of how, when, and why baby’s teeth. Working with your little one’s doctor and dentist is important when your child begins teething and showing symptoms.

Preparing yourself for the eruption of teeth by gathering necessary items, like a toothbrush, can help the milestone go more smoothly.

Hope you enjoyed the article! Don’t forget to leave your unanswered questions in the comments so we can continue talking about teething tips!

Source: Dribbble

Last update on 2021-09-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Author

Megan Moore

Megan is a mom of three who enjoys researching and writing during nap times and whenever she gets a free moment! Aside from producing content as an author on Baby Journey, she also loves running and gardening.

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