Although it can be a challenging time, teething is a normal process that all children go through. Baby's first teeth need to break through the gums, which can be painful and distressing. Here, our children's dentists explain the signs and symptoms of teething and offer a few ideas on how to cope with them.
While it isn’t unusual for teeth to appear as early as 3 months or late as 12 months, baby teeth usually come in around 6 months of age. Every child is unique, but most children will have all 20 primary teeth by 3 years of age.
You should take your child to their first dentist appointment within 6 months of their first tooth coming through, or by the time they are 12 months old.
Signs & Symptoms of Teething
The teething process can be painful and long for both you and your child. Your child's gums may be swollen and tender as their first teeth are coming in. You should expect, and prepare yourself for, a few fussy nights and maybe even a couple of good cries, while your child is teething.
Common symptoms of teething include:
- Decreased appetite
- Putting everything in their mouth
- Lack of sleep
- Rubbing face or pulling at ears
- Swollen and tender gums
How to Cope With Teething
There are a number of remedies you can try in order to help relieve your child's discomfort due to teething.
Pressure often helps with the pain and swelling of teething. You can offer them something to chew on, like a cold or frozen face cloth or a rubber teething ring, or you could massage your baby's gums with a clean finger.
Be sure to try a few things to help your baby feel more comfortable, and when in doubt offer up a hug! It's important to remember at this difficult time, that your presence is one of the most comforting things you can offer your baby.
Overtime you’ll learn what works best for your child, and try to keep in mind that this period in your child's development won't last long.