Your baby’s smile is the most beautiful thing in the world, but those gummy smiles won’t last forever! Soon enough, every child goes through the teething process when their teeth decide to erupt. Every child is different, but the time frames are generally the same, as is the order they usually show up. Parents may dread the teething stage, but a little understanding will help your child (and you!) get through it.
When to Expect Baby Teeth to Erupt
Exactly when to expect that first tooth to start showing varies greatly, but it is usually around six to eight months of age. Some babies may have this happen sooner, and others, later. Once the first tooth appears, it will take a few years for 19 more to all appear…before they start falling out again to make way for adult teeth!
The first teeth you can expect to erupt are the two lower incisors, followed by the upper central incisors (about 8-12 months of age). Then the upper lateral incisors (two on either side of the existing incisors) will start coming in from 9-13 months and lower lateral incisors from 10-16 months. Your child will have four on the top and four on the bottom to start chewing into solid foods, as well as give a big cheeky smile full of teeth!
The upper molars will start to appear from 13-19 months. They’re quite useless until the lower molars follow from 14-20 months. Now you child can really start to grind food. Finally, that gap between the molars and incisors will be filled with canines. The upper ones generally erupt from 16-22 months. The lower ones are expected around 17-23 months. The last set of molars follow, coming in at about 25-33 months. All 20 baby teeth are usually present by the time a child is three.
Teething Pain Management
Teething pain can be a horrible thing for babies and parents who find it hard to help. You can soother teething pain in many ways to get them feeling as comfortable as possible while their teeth erupt.
Try giving your baby cold things to “chew” on. Just like you would apply an ice pack to a sprain to keep soreness and swelling down, you can do the same for gums. You can get rubber teething rings with plastic handles that don’t get cold when you stick it in the freezer. They are often textured, which is soothing to the sore gums. If you do, be sure to watch your child with it to make sure it does not get any leaks or for choking.
Alternatively, a wet washcloth that has been put in the freezer works great too. The cold, rigid fabric is also a good feeling on gums. If your baby doesn’t like the cold, then a teether at room temperature will still give the pressure and texture that helps.
Sometimes if the pain gets to be too much, your doctor or dentist might recommend a topical gel that goes on top of the gums to help numb and soothe them or painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen (if your baby is over six months of age only). Always ask your doctor or dentist’s advice first though.
Brushing Gums and Teeth
Don’t wait for teeth to appear to get into the habit of brushing teeth/gums. Brushing the gums with a soft toothbrush will not only keep them clean and healthy but also help with any irritation from baby teeth eruption.
There is no set time when your child’s teeth will start to make an appearance, and as you can see, the time frames are quite wide. Every child will develop differently. If you do have any concerns though, then contact JC Dental to discuss them. We’re happy to help answer any questions or arrange for your child to have a dental check-up with our friendly team!