A newborn emerges from the womb with 20 teeth lurking beneath their gum line, despite its toothless smile. The teeth may take their time to move forward and penetrate the gum, but when they start their migration, it is uncomfortable and, at times, painful for your little one. Understanding when babies start teething is essential to knowing the cause of sudden fits and finding solutions.
When Does a Baby Start Teething
On average, the first baby tooth appears somewhere during the first year of life. Most infants have their first tooth by six months, while others may not until eight months or later. If your little one has no teeth protruding from the gum line within the first six months to one year of life, contact a pediatric dentist to determine the cause.
How Long Does Teething Last
The duration of teething varies from infant to infant. Some little ones only experience it short-term — over a couple of days — others may deal with the discomfort for months. There is no set timetable for baby teeth, but once they break through the gum line, most teething symptoms should subside, and your little one will experience relief.
Signs Your Baby Is Teething
Despite common rumors, baby teething does not cause excessive diarrhea or high fevers. If your little one has a temperature of 100.4°F or higher, take them to the ER. While teething may cause mild diarrhea and low-grade fevers — no higher than 99°F — the more common symptoms include:
- Tender or sore gums
- Drool rash
Tips To Soothe a Teething Baby
Teething can cause significant discomfort for your child, which encourages crying. No parent wants to see their child in pain, so it is helpful to try and reduce and soothe gum irritation; the most effective methods include pressure and chewing. Try some of the best tips to ease the discomfort.
1. Refrigerate a Teething Toy, Pacifier, or Washcloth
Since cold is one of the most effective treatments to soothe teething symptoms, try refrigerating teething toys, pacifiers, or clean, damp washcloths. You must be careful that the items aren't too cold when you give them to your child, so avoid placing things in the freezer.
2. Chill Fruit or Other Foods
If your little one is eating solid foods when they start teething, you can try putting fruit or other foods in the fridge before giving them to them. Also, since many infants eat less when teething, you can make milk popsicles to up their nutrition.
3. Massage the Gums
Before attempting this tip, wash your hands thoroughly. Massaging your child's gum line with light pressure can soothe the pain, potentially helping them fall asleep faster. You can also apply Wellements Baby Tooth Oil to your fingertip to increase the effectiveness of the massage.
4. Pain Medications
Talk to their pediatrician about possible pain medications to soothe your teething infant if nothing works. A doctor may recommend an over-the-counter medicine like a teething gel or tablet; however, stay away from products that contain benzocaine or lidocaine.
5. Extra Cuddles
Unfortunately, teething is an uncomfortable time, and even using the tips above, your child may still cry. Sometimes, the best you can do for your little one and yourself is to offer extra cuddles, rock them, or walk around with them. You can also provide additional nursing sessions for relaxation.
Teething is a challenging time for little ones and their parents. While hearing and seeing your child's discomfort is difficult, remember it will not last. Talk to a pediatric dentist to learn more about the teething cycle, and check out Wellements remedies for support.