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Teething Babies: What to Expect

Ever sensitive to the moods of their little ones, many new mothers are baffled and distressed when their babies turn unexplainably cranky once they reach six months of age. It might set their minds at ease however, if they knew that these babies are not undergoing an existential life crisis that kicks in at the six-month mark, but are most likely expressing their discontent with their sore gums.

If your baby seems to drool, lose sleep, have swollen gums, lose appetite or rub his or her face more frequently, it’s possible that teething is due to start in a few days’ time. However, not all children experience teething symptoms, and fewer still experience several of them at once. In fact, according to paediatrician Deb Lonzer, chairperson of the Department of Community Pediatrics at Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital, ‘No more than a third of babies have any one symptom.’ So if you’ve noticed that your child is teething and yet strangely unfazed by the entire process, there’s nothing to worry about.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Loss of appetite
  • Increase in fretfulness, especially during mealtimes
  • Interrupted sleep
  • Frequent rubbing of face, especially in the mouth, chin or nose area
  • Increased drooling
  • Reddish and swollen gums

When Does It Occur?

Teething occurs when children are between 6 and 12 months. If your child shows no signs of teething after he reaches 18 months, it would be advisable to take your child to the doctor’s for a checkup.

Which Teeth Should Appear First?

All I want for Christmas are my two front teeth, my two front teeth, my two front teeth… If you haven’t guessed it yet from the song, the little girl’s front incisors have yet to grow out after her baby teeth have fallen out. Teeth generally fall out in the same order that that they grow in, and that means that the first four front teeth (two on top, two at the bottom) would first appear, followed by the ones adjacent to them, and then the canines. A steady progression takes place as the molars begin to grow out, leading towards the back of the mouth.

How Long Does It Take To Grow Out All His Teeth?

Unfortunately, this is a long drawn-out process. Some might even say that it’s like pulling teeth. From the moment the budding tooth becomes a noticeable bump on the gum, it could take up to a month before the whole tooth emerges. And that’s just for the first pair of teeth, so stay tuned. It might take two to three years before your child has a full set of 20 baby teeth. As tooth development is a hereditary process, you’d be able to gauge from your own experience just how long it’d take Junior to develop his own pearly whites.

How Do I Soothe My Baby's Teething Woes?

As the child feels mounting pressure from the inside of his gums as his baby teeth prepare to emerge, one way to soothe this ache is to provide a counter-pressure on the tops of his gums. Aside from teething toys, cold foods are also handy for relieving pain. Try putting teething toys in the refrigerator, or even pacifiers or blankets that are safe for the baby to gnaw on. Chilled baby food, frozen bananas or grapes make wonderful treats for the little ones.

30 May 2018