Is Your Baby Teething?
Teething occurs when your child’s baby teeth, also called primary teeth, begin to break through the gum tissue. Tooth eruption generally begins at about six months of age, but baby teeth may take as long as a year to arrive. Symptoms of tooth-cutting continue until all 20 primary teeth grow in. The timeline for primary tooth eruption appears to be hereditary and is not a reflection of the child’s health. It often occurs earlier in females. If your baby has not started cutting teeth by the age of 18 months, see a kids’ dentist.]
The Normal Sequence of Primary Tooth Eruption
Although patterns vary among children, primary teeth usually erupt in a predictable sequence. The two front bottom teeth come in first, followed by four upper front teeth called central and lateral incisors. Two lower lateral incisors are next, followed by first molars. The four canine teeth erupt next to the upper and lower lateral incisors. Finally, the remaining molars come in to make a complete set of 20 primary teeth. By age 14, primary teeth are replaced by 28 permanent teeth. Wisdom teeth, or third molars, will not arrive until at least your child’s late teens.
6 Common Symptoms of Teething
- Excessive and constant drooling
- A rash on the face or chest
- Biting on hard objects
- Sleep disturbances
- Gum swelling and soreness
Providing Relief for Your Baby
Pediatric dentists offer several tips for easing your baby’s discomfort while he or she is teething.
- If your baby is eating solid foods, offer cold foods and beverages.
- Allow your baby to suck on a clean, cold, moist cloth, or provide a tooth-cutting ring or pacifier.
- Gently rub your baby’s gums with your finger, wet gauze, or a cold spoon.
- If symptoms are severe, consult your pediatrician or pediatric dentist about using mild pain relievers.
- Never cut your baby’s gums, apply aspirin, or give your baby alcohol.
When to See a Kids’ Dentist
As a general rule, take your child to a pediatric dentist six months after the first primary tooth erupts. Follow your dentist’s advice about early dental hygiene practices and follow-up visits.