About Teething

The symptoms of teething can vary depending on when your child is cutting their first tooth. The vast majority of babies start teething between four and nine months while some babies cut their first tooth as early as three months. Others may start teething as late as one year of age.

Alex Gladwin, a mummy blogger, discusses her experience of teething and some of the symptoms and tips to soothe your baby.

Note to parents: The information in this section of the site is not designed to diagnose or provide treatment advice, it is simply the experience of one mum. If you are concerned about your child’s symptoms, you should always consult with an appropriate healthcare professional.

Did you know? Teeth start developing while the baby is still in the womb with tooth buds forming in the gums. Some babies are even born with teeth in their mouth!

The individual and very different teething experiences that babies go through mean experts often disagree about the symptoms of teething. However most parents notice some of the following in their little one - drooling, biting, irritability, swollen red gums and red cheeks. 

Symptoms of Teething

  • Baby drooling

    Teething stimulates the excessive production of saliva resulting in drooling.

    Tip: If the constant dribbling of saliva is causing the skin around your baby’s mouth to become sore and red this may cause a rash to develop. Try to keep the area dry and apply a barrier cream to protect and soothe the skin.

    Note: Because your baby is likely to swallow more saliva her or his stool is prone to become looser.*
  • Baby biting finger

    A teething baby is known to bite on anything he or she can get his or her gums around.

    The pressure experienced from biting is believed to help babies relieve the painful pressure on their gums. At the same time parents may find that their baby refuses to eat or only eats very little.

  • Baby biting necklace

    By comforting or playing with your baby you can sometimes distract them from the pain in their gums. Your baby may sometimes be feeling too irritable or restless to play, but if not, it can be a good way of getting them to concentrate on something other than their teething pain.

  • baby teething
    Sore Gums

    Your baby’s gums are becoming increasingly sore and painful as the little teeth rise closer to the surface. Teething gums may be sore and red and you might even see little white dots or small openings where the next tooth is about to cut through (if your baby keeps its mouth open long enough for you to have a glimpse that is!)

    Your baby may be extra fussy when it cuts his or her first tooth and later when the molars come through due to their bigger size. Note: Sore gums may in severe cases cause fever and are even prone to bleed.*
  • Baby on purple rug

    The pain of teething is likely to have an effect on your baby’s sleeping quality and pattern. Babies who suffer from teething pain are more likely to wake up at night when the pain becomes too much. Sleepless nights occur most often when your baby cuts his or her very first tooth and towards the end when the bigger molars come out.

Your month by month teething guide

The symptoms of teething can vary depending on when your child is cutting her or his first tooth. The vast majority of babies start teething between four and nine months while some babies cut their first tooth as early as three months, while others may start teething as late as one year of age. Please remember it is perfectly normal for a baby to get his or her first tooth as early as three months, or as late as his or her first birthday. 

By the time your little one reaches the terrible twos it means teething is almost complete! At around 26 months the very back teeth, or second molars, grow through the bottom gum followed by the second molars on the top.  Then by 2 to 3 years of age your little one should have a full set of 20 pearly whites! 

Below is a rough guide for the teething process.

Teething begins!
  • This usually happens at around 6 months (or between 4 to 10 months of age)
  • Teething, unfortunately, can be a painful time for your baby and you might have to do a bit of comforting and deal with a lot of dribble because your baby's gums may be sore and red where his or her new teeth are coming out 
The first teeth emerge!
  • This generally happens at around 6 months (or from 5 to 7 months of age)
  • The first teeth will probably be on the bottom in the middle of his or her mouth and is generally both lower central incisors
Say hello to the upper middle teeth
  • At around 7 months (or between 6 to 8 months) the upper middle teeth (the upper central incisors) will emerge

Quick tip: Once your baby is more than six months, try giving your teething tot something yummy to chew and suck on during their teething troubles like these Pear and Banana Ice lollies

More teeth on the bottom then the top
  • Between 10 to 12 months (or even up to 16 months) your little one should get his or her bottom teeth right next to the middle teeth
  • These are called the lower lateral incisors
  • Between 9 to 11 months it is time for the upper teeth right next to the middle teeth (upper lateral incisors) to appear 
Time for your toddler’s molars!
  • At around 12 – 16 months your toddler will get his or her first molars
  • It is usual for molars on the bottom and top to appear at the same time

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