Every baby reaches each development milestone at different times and teething is no different.
Some babies have teeth at birth and some won’t cut teeth until past their first birthday, often the best indication of when your baby will start teething is -when did you start teething as a baby?
Family history is the best way to gauge when this might occur for your little one.
As an approximate guide, the NHS website suggests most babies will start teething around 6 months old.
Knowing the signs to look out for will give you an early indication that teething might be getting underway and then you can support your child in understanding their symptoms.
Look out for an increase in dribbling, possibly a rash on their chin, one flushed red cheek, or if they are pulling on their ear.
Sometimes babies can have swelling of the gums which can lead to a fever, more commonly look for biting on clothing or teething toys, and unusual levels of irritability or sleep regression.
Generally, the first teeth to break through are the bottom two front teeth, the bottom jaw central incisors.
Then the two upper front teeth, the top jaw central incisors are then followed by the two on either side of these, the top lateral incisors, and then the bottom two lateral incisors.
Teeth tend to come through in pairs and teething often lasts for about four days before the tooth cuts and for four days afterward, but this varies dependent on the tooth and the child.
First molars come through a little later, often between 12 to 18 months and canine teeth come next (the pointed teeth at the top and bottom, which help with biting food).
Finally, the second molars, the very back teeth at the top and bottom come through. Most children will have a full set of milk teeth by their third birthday.
How to help
Seeing your baby suffer from teething discomfort is heartbreaking, when it starts to impact their playtime or sleep, use these useful soothing tactics that will offer your baby relief when they need it most.
During the day, soft, cold fruit or vegetables will be soothing on sore gums, as will a refrigerated teether toy.
GP’s don’t recommend teething necklaces or herbal remedies, but if you want to help your baby with their teething then you can give them baby teething gels/powders such as Bonjela, which contain a mild local anesthetic could be your next option.
If your child is still in pain and can’t be soothed, babies 3 months or older can have baby paracetamol or ibuprofen to help relieve discomfort.
Once your baby has cut their first tooth, brush their teeth and gums twice a day with a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
Make your child’s first dentist appointment to get advice and to check on your child’s teeth development and brushing.
Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay, check with your dentist if your area has fluoride added to drinking water and your requirements from your toothpaste.
Keep an eye on how your child’s language skills respond to their new teeth and mouth shape. Their new teeth will help them to eat a greater variety of food.