When Do Babies Start Teething and How to Manage Symptoms

August 31, 2008

Babies are god's gifts. They are the most innocent and are protected against all strains, pressures and tensions. Neither do they have to worry about studies, nor do they have the work pressure. However, this is a myth. All living beings created by god face challenges in all stages, they all struggle for existence. It is because human beings have succeeded in surviving all challenges, they are considered to be the fittest and only the fittest survives. These worries and challenges for a life begin right from infancy.

Just a few hours after entering the world, the new born has an urge to fulfil his hunger. He cries and yells to demonstrate the need and then he suckles hard utilising loads and bundles of energy stored in her tiny body. The tests for life begin right from there. As time goes by, the tasks become more and more difficult. Teething is a critical phenomenon associated with infancy. This process can be as easy as drinking water or as difficult as chewing horse gram. Hence proper understanding of the process and awareness to manage the problems is a must for all parents.

When do teeth come in?

Most children have a full set of primary teeth by the time they are around two or three years old, which slowly fall out before the age of 12.  These teeth usually last until about the age of six, when the teeth that were first to appear become loose and fall out as the second teeth begin to push through the gums.

Age

Teeth

Position

6 to 7 months

Incisors

Two central bottom & Two central top teeth.

7 to 9 months

Two more incisors

Top & bottom; making four top & four bottom teeth in all.

10 to 14 months

1st molars

Double teeth for chewing

15 to 18 months

Canines

Sharp pointy teeth

2 to 3 years

2nd molars

The second set of double teeth at the back

Symptoms of teething

If you had an easy teething process, your baby is more likely to have it easy. However a few symptoms are associated with teething generally. Though the causes of the symptoms can be debated, the most widely accepted reasons of symptoms are mentioned below:

Fidgety: As your baby's gums will become sore and painful when the tooth starts coming up closer to the top, your baby will be very fidgety and restless.  The pain and discomfort is most often worse during the first teeth coming in and later when the molars come in because of their bigger size.

Cough: Your baby might gag or cough as there will be more saliva.

Biting & gnawing: A baby that is teething will gnaw and gum down on anything she or he can get their mouth around.  The counter pressure from biting on something helps relieve the pressure from under the gums.

Cheek rubbing and ear pulling: Pain in the gums may travel to the ears and cheeks particularly when the back molars begin coming in.  This is why you may see your baby rubbing their cheeks or pulling at their ears

Diarrhoea: You might notice slightly looser stools when your baby is teething.

Low-grade fever:Your baby may develop low grade fever during teething. The best thing to do is be extra safe and notify your doctor if a fever last more than two days.

Not sleeping well: With teething pain happening during the day and night, you may find your child wakes more often at night when the pain gets bad enough. .

Runny nose, Sniffles: Your baby may show some signs of getting a cold.

Management

The most important concern is to be empathetic towards the child and understand her problems. Some points to be kept in mind to help your baby teeth are:

  1. Offer your baby a chilled gel ring as a teether to bite or suck on.
  2. Cold yogurt, chilled apple sauce or cold carrot sticks help relieve the pressure of the new teeth and also mitigate the pain associated with it.
  3. never force your baby to eat or drink anything because it may make her more uneasy and she may even puke.
  4. Your clean finger can be offered to your baby to bite on.
  5. Take utmost care of hygiene and cleanliness especially when the baby is teething to avoid infections.
  6. use boiled water for her drinking purposes.
  7. Massage with honey could help alleviate the symptoms.
Additional Reading: Teething and Your Baby - An Overview Teething troubles in babies All Natural Time Tested Health Products