When it comes to teething, all babies are different. But in general, parents can expect that their baby will start cutting their teeth between the age of four and 12 months. And for most babies, teething means discomfort and a desire for relief.
It’s hard for any parent to hear their baby cry and know that they are in pain. For both you and your adorable little one, you’ll want to be able to recognize symptoms that your baby is teething and know what you can do to offer some teething relief.
How do I know if my baby is teething?
Let’s start by making sure you know what to look for, so you can recognize signs that your baby is teething. It’s important to remember that though there are many common symptoms, every baby is different as to when they will cut their first tooth and what the teething experience is like for them. That said, most teething babies will exhibit one or more of the following symptoms:
- Sore gums or redness where the tooth is emerging through the gums
- Flushed cheeks or one flushed cheek
- Facial rash
- Decreased appetite
- Pulling on their ear
- Drooling more than usual
- More fussiness than usual
- Waking frequently throughout the night or inability to nap restfully
How long does teething last?
Aside from knowing the signs and symptoms of teething to be on the lookout for, parents also wonder how long teething lasts. And, you guessed it, the length of time your baby will teethe may be different from their playmates, cousins, or siblings.
Like we said earlier, your baby will likely cut their first tooth between four and 12 months of age. Assuming there are no underlying issues that your baby’s doctor or dentist alerts you to, your baby will get new teeth every few months until they are approximately two years old. Your baby’s second lower and upper molars will be some of the last to come in and usually arrive between 23 and 31 months of age. Finally, your little one should get their upper second molars by the time they are 33 months old. By age three, they should have all 20 baby teeth.
How can I help my baby with teething relief?
If your child is experiencing pain and discomfort from their teeth, you will want to provide them with some teething relief. Thankfully, there are some tried and true home remedies that you can employ to help your baby feel better, faster.
- Provide your baby with a cool, wet cloth to chew on. Many parents find it easiest to freeze a clean damp cloth and then give it to their baby straight from the freezer. The cold of the rag will help numb the pain.
- Feed your baby soft, cold foods such as applesauce, yogurt, or frozen fruit. But do not give frozen fruit to a baby that is not yet able to chew.
- Give your baby a teething ring or another teething toy. Many young children enjoy the feel of the different textures on their teeth and gums and find the chewing process to be soothing. Try to avoid freezing teething toys that are filled with gel, as they are more likely to break.
- Try teething biscuits if your baby is old enough to chew and swallow solids. There are a variety of teething crackers and biscuits available on the market.
- Apply a non-medicated cooling gel such as Orajel. However, we do always recommend that you check with your baby’s doctor or dentist first.
What if my baby has a “teething fever”?
On some occasions, you may want to provide relief for your baby’s “teething fever.” First, it is important to note that the medical community has learned that teething does not actually cause a fever. What is not clear is why babies so often run a fever while teething. Babies of teething age are also at an age that is very susceptible to common colds and viruses. Perhaps the effort of teething runs the body down enough to make it slightly more susceptible. We don’t know. But the main takeaway is that it is important not to ignore a fever as “just teething.” You should get in touch with your doctor for any fever that exceeds 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
When your baby does run a fever, ensure your child is well-hydrated with water or an electrolyte drink. Safe home remedies for a fever include:
- Ensuring your child is not wearing too many clothes or blankets.
- Using a cool, wet cloth to help keep your baby cool.
- Consulting your child’s doctor or dentist on the proper over-the-counter medications and dosages.
When should I reach out to my child’s pediatrician or pediatric dentist?
We are here to help you and answer any questions you have, so don’t be afraid to call with a question about teething!
Also, we recommend that children see a dentist for the first time shortly after they cut their first tooth or by the time they turn one. Getting your baby in to see the dentist early on not only helps to reduce the chances for future problems, but it also helps your dentist identify any concerns that should be addressed sooner rather than later.
Getting your child to the dentist at a young age and ensuring follow-ups every six months helps to set the stage for good oral health. Your child will be more comfortable with their dentist and will also be better able to adopt their own good oral hygiene habits.
Request an appointment with Dr. Jaynes after your baby cuts their first tooth.
If you live in the Plano, Texas, area, one of the best things you can do for your teething baby, aside from trying the recommendations to provide them with teething relief, is to request an appointment. There are so many things that parents need to know about their baby’s teeth, and we can help answer any of your questions.
Not only that, but we can help assess your baby’s risk for dental problems in the future and can get you on a regular schedule for dental checkups. So if your baby has their first tooth or is teething now, it’s the perfect time to request an appointment. We look forward to meeting you and your baby.