When Do Babies Start Teething? What Can I Expect?

As parents, we’re naturally concerned about the milestones that our little ones will be facing. Smiling, teething, rolling over, and hopefully sleeping through the night. If you’re a new parent, however, you’ve probably Googled information on what to expect and asked the question, “When do babies start teething?”

A certain amount of anxiety is normal when it comes to our child’s development, and it is certainly important to monitor their progress to make sure that everything is as it should be. 

What we don’t want to do though, is to place so much emphasis on these milestones that we place ourselves under a whole lot of unnecessary stress. Who needs that, right?

When do babies start teething?

when do babies start teething

Before we answer this question, it’s worth noting that all babies will progress at their own rate. 

Some children will be walking at 10 months, and others will still be happily scooting around on their little bottoms at 15 months with no apparent desire to stand up at all. And that’s fine. 

The same premise applies to teething babies. 

Some little humans are born with teeth! It’s rare, but it happens. Some will be offering up gummy smiles way after their peers have started to grow their little mouth pearls. Nevertheless, the generally accepted “norms” for babies to start teething are as follows:

  • At 5 – 7 months we expect to see the bottom two incisors
  • Between 6 – 8 months the top incisors are likely to show
  • Between 9 – 11 months we’re looking out for top lateral incisors on either side of the two front teeth
  • These are followed at around 10 – 12 months by the bottom lateral incisors
  • By 19 months your baby should have 12 teeth in their mouth, with the final milk teeth popping out by 23 months

Whilst the timing and order may deviate slightly from the above, this is usually what we can expect when monitoring our teething baby.

Late teethers?

Many factors come into play when it comes to timing. If your baby was premature or born at a low birth weight, then some of these teeth may appear later than expected. If, however, your little person gets to 18 months with no sign of teeth then there is likely a medical reason for it and you should be talking to your paediatrician.

How do I know when my baby is teething?

There are not enough books or advice columns in the world which can prepare you for a teething baby. Again, the inexplicable human element means that you may endure days of a grumpy, fractious child while their first teeth emerge, or you may wake up one morning to a beaming smile plus a tooth. 

If your mind-reading skills are not up to par, then look out for some of the following symptoms which may point you in the right direction and allow you to help your small person deal with this painful time:

  • Excessive dribbling
  • Irritability 
  • Slightly raised temperature
  • Chewing or biting on their hands or toys
  • Red or swollen gums

It’s so hard to watch your baby struggle with a sore mouth and perhaps a headache and a general feeling of yuckiness. Follow the advice of your doctor when it comes to giving them something to dull the pain, especially at night which may help them to sleep better. Gently massaging the gum with a clean finger or giving them a chilled rubber toy to chew on will also help.

How do I care for my baby’s teeth?

Did you know that you should start brushing your baby’s teeth as soon as they emerge? Even breastfed babies need to have their teeth cleaned, so a soft-bristled brush and a gentle hand is a great start.

When should I take my baby to a dentist?

If you have any concerns about your baby’s teeth, then always consult a dentist. 

Ideally, though, you would want to bring your little person along around six months after they’ve cut their first teeth. Your dentist can attend to issues such as bottle-feeding tooth decay, thumb-sucking, and the use of pacifiers to prevent these from becoming a bigger problem.

Stanford Children’s Health says of this initial visit, “Your child’s first dental visit is to help your child feel comfortable with the dentist. The first dental visit is recommended by 12 months of age, or within 6 months of the first tooth coming in. The first visit often lasts 30 to 45 minutes. Depending on your child’s age, the visit may include a full exam of the teeth, jaws, bite, gums, and oral tissues to check growth and development. If needed, your child may also have a gentle cleaning. This includes polishing teeth and removing any plaque, tartar, and stains.”

Do you have questions or concerns about your baby’s teeth? We have made it our mission to make each and every patient – no matter their age – feel comfortable, safe, and welcome when they come to see us. Please feel free to call in and make an appointment so that we can set your mind at ease. 

Call us on 01420 550 616.

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