When Do Infants Get Their First Teeth?
Watching your baby grow and reach new milestones is an exciting and rewarding experience for any parent. One of the major developmental milestones that parents eagerly await is the eruption of their baby’s first teeth. The process of teething can vary from one child to another, but there are some general guidelines that can help you understand when to expect those adorable little pearly whites.
Typically, most infants will start teething between the ages of 4 to 7 months. However, it’s important to note that there is a wide range of normal when it comes to teething, and some babies may start as early as 3 months or as late as 12 months. It’s also worth mentioning that genetics can play a role in determining when your baby’s teeth will make their appearance, so if you or your partner had early or late teethers, your baby may follow suit.
During the teething process, your baby’s gums may become swollen and tender. They might exhibit irritability, drooling, and a tendency to chew on everything in sight. Some babies may also experience mild fever or loose stools during this time. It’s important to remember that teething should not cause severe pain or high fever. If your baby seems excessively uncomfortable or if you have concerns, it’s always a good idea to consult with your pediatrician.
Now, let’s address some frequently asked questions about teething:
1. How long does the teething process usually last?
The entire process of teething, from the first tooth breaking through the gum to the completion of a full set of 20 primary teeth, typically takes about 2 to 3 years.
2. What are the signs that my baby is teething?
Signs of teething can include increased drooling, irritability, swollen gums, chewing on objects, and disrupted sleep patterns.
3. Can teething cause a fever?
While it’s common for babies to experience a mild rise in body temperature during teething, a high fever is not typically associated with teething. Contact your pediatrician if your baby has a fever over 100.4°F (38°C).
4. How can I soothe my baby’s teething discomfort?
You can try offering your baby a teething ring, chilled spoon, or a clean, damp cloth to chew on. Gently massaging their gums with a clean finger can also provide some relief.
5. Should I use teething gels or medications?
It’s recommended to consult with your pediatrician before using any teething gels or medications, as they may not be suitable for all babies.
6. Can teething cause diarrhea?
While some babies may experience loose stools during teething due to increased drooling and swallowing, teething itself does not directly cause diarrhea.
7. When should I start brushing my baby’s teeth?
As soon as your baby’s first tooth appears, you can start cleaning it with a soft infant toothbrush or a clean, damp cloth.
8. How often should I brush my baby’s teeth?
Brush your baby’s teeth twice a day, using a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste (about the size of a grain of rice) until they are 3 years old. Afterward, you can use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
9. Can I give my baby pain relievers for teething?
Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, can be used with guidance from your pediatrician. Always follow the recommended dosage.
10. Will my baby’s teeth come in a specific order?
Generally, the bottom front teeth (lower central incisors) tend to emerge first, followed by the top front teeth (upper central incisors). However, the order can vary.
11. What if my baby is born with teeth?
Some babies are born with one or more teeth, known as natal teeth. Consult with your pediatrician or a pediatric dentist to determine the best course of action.
12. When should I schedule my baby’s first dental visit?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends scheduling your baby’s first dental visit within six months after their first tooth erupts, but no later than their first birthday.
Remember, every baby is unique, and their teething journey may differ from others. Patience, love, and providing appropriate teething aids can help ease your baby’s discomfort during this exciting milestone.