Teething typically starts at about 6 to 7 months of age. However, technically speaking, teething is a natural process that commences when the baby is still in her mother’s womb. Her tooth buds develop at that time and these are the foundations for her milk teeth, which would show up when she is about 3 to 6 months old. Primary teeth are 20 in number and these teeth would start falling off when your child is about 7 years old to make room for permanent teeth.
How early can babies teething?
There is a timeline for all milk teeth to show up till the age of 24 months. Lower incisors are the first ones to come through, after which upper central incisors and lateral incisors show up. First molars usually follow after these, after which canines come through. Second molars are the last baby teeth to come through and this happens around the age of 2 years. However, you may add or subtract 2 to 3 months from the timeline for each tooth to show up because every baby is different in achieving her milestones.
What to expect when your baby is teething?
Babies usually get very cranky whenever they are teething. This process starts at about 3 months and carries on till 24 months. During this time, your baby might start refusing food and lose weight because of not eating enough. If it is difficult for her to take solids, give her more milk or liquid food. But to lessen the pain in the gums, it is also recommended to give her hard food like apple.
There are a total of 9 symptoms that babies show when they are teething. These include drooling, teething rash, gag reflex, biting behaviour, crying, irritability, sleeplessness, food refusal, and ear pulling.
There is no need to feel extra concerned when any of these symptoms show at about 6 months. These are common signs and almost every baby experiences them. But you may use tips and tricks to lessen the impact of these symptoms especially food refusal because your baby would become weak and lose weight if she is not eating enough.
When the signs of a tooth start showing, it takes about 1 to 2 weeks for the tooth to actually show up. So, be patient. This is definitely a hard time for the parents especially if the baby is getting extra cranky. Keep teething toys handy when your baby is teething. They help soothe the gums and lessen the pain and swelling.
A mild pain killer may also be useful particularly if the baby is finding it difficult to sleep at night.
You may wish to take your baby to a doctor if her first tooth has not emerged till the age of 2 years. This is an area of concern for the parents. But if the first tooth has emerged and the rest of the teeth are taking time, then it’s all right. Every baby is different when it comes to achieving milestones like teething.