When Do Babies Start Teething?

a laughing baby showing their teeth

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Has your baby been fussier than usual recently? Have they been chewing on things or drooling a lot? If this sounds familiar, your baby might be teething.

This simply means that their first set of teeth is about to start peeking through their gums. On average, this happens between the ages of 4 months and 1 year.

Here are a couple of things you should know about how the teething process should go for you and your baby. 

When Will Your Baby Start Teething? 

Your baby is most likely to get their first tooth some time between 4 months old and their first birthday.

If you have a 6-month-old baby who isn’t showing signs of teething yet, there’s no reason to panic. Every baby is different and so are their developmental rates. Some babies don’t start to teeth until they are nine months old. Other babies begin teething as early as three months.

However, if you have any genuine concerns about your baby’s development, don’t hesitate to speak to your pediatrician. 

In very rare cases, some babies are born with teeth. They are commonly referred to as natal teeth or fetal teeth. If the tooth or teeth are loose, they are usually extracted almost immediately after birth. But if they have good support, they don’t need to be removed. 

The two center incisors at the bottom row of the mouth are usually the first teeth to appear. But even if this isn’t the case with your baby, there’s no need to worry.

The order of growth may vary from baby to baby. Babies who were born prematurely or with very low birth weights might also experience some delays in teething. 

Teething and Development

If your baby is teething, it's a great sign that they are developing healthily. As your baby grows in a full set of teeth, you’ll be able to expand their diet to include nutrient-rich foods that require a bit more chewing effort.

A delay in your baby’s teething won’t affect other developmental milestones. Research shows that there is no significant correlation between developmental milestones and when your baby begins teething.

Signs of Teething

Before your babies first tooth comes in, you’ll notice some signs that they are about to start teething. Your baby might:

  • Be drooling more than usual 
  • Develop a light rash as a result of the drooling
  • Have a slight fever  
  • Have swollen and sensitive gums 
  • Be extra fussy or irritable
  • Start chewing on hard items
  • Refuse to eat food

In some cases, teething may make your baby slightly ill. If they have a high fever, diarrhea, or a cough, you should speak to your doctor.

What To Do Next

Your baby teething can be an uncomfortable time for both you and your baby. Here are a couple of things to do to ease the process: 

  • Buy a teething toy for your baby and refrigerate it before each use. When it’s cold, it numbs the gums and provides relief. Be careful not to make it too cold as this may hurt the gums.
  • Feed your baby cold food. Refrigerated food like bananas and yogurt can help with sore gums.
  • Massage your baby’s gums with a clean finger to ease soreness. 
  • Let your child bite down on a clean washcloth to help ease pain.

Caring For Your Baby’s New Teeth

When your baby is three years old, you can expect most of their first set of teeth to have come in. Before then, here are a couple of things you should do to take care of your baby’s new teeth:

  • Introduce fluoride into their diet when they are 6 months old. Fluoride helps to prevent tooth decay.
  • Brush your child’s teeth twice a day using a gentle fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Make a dental appointment once the first tooth grows in. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that all children have their first dental visit before the age of one.
  • Avoid giving your child sugary drinks because they are bad for your baby’s new teeth. However, if you do give them a sugary drink, brush their teeth immediately afterwards.

A Word From Verywell

Your baby getting their first tooth is one of the most joyous milestones of parenthood that new parents look forward to.

It is also painful and uncomfortable for your baby, which means they’ll be a lot fussier than usual. Try to be patient with them and make use of things like teething toys to ease their discomfort. 

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Article Sources
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  4. American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD). Get It Done In Year One