Teething is the process where the deciduous teeth (also called baby teeth or milk teeth) emerge through the gums. This time is usually the next biggest challenge after surviving the early stages of parenthood. Teething can cause pain and babies often become fussy during this time. The first signs of teething are usually irritability, chewing and biting as well as refusing to eat or drink. You may also be able to see some swelling or feel a slight bump before the top of the tooth emerges. Read on to find out when babies begin teething and how long it lasts.
When do babies get their first teeth?
The average age that the first teeth appear is between 6 and 9 months. However, it can start as early as 3 months and as late as a year. This usually occurs sooner in girls and the timing of teething is thought to be inherited.
Although the teeth do not always follow the same pattern the average pattern is
- Two lower center incisors at 6 months
- Two upper center incisors at 8 months
- Two upper and two lower incisors (one each side of the center insirors) at 10 months
- First four molars at 14 months
- Four canines at 18 months
- Second molars at 2-3 years
A great way to soothe the painful gums is to provide something cold like a washcloth or teething ring placed in the freezer to chew on. Pain medication and teething gels should only be used under medical supervision in young infants.
Did you know?
Teething has often be blamed as the cause of fever and many other conditions, but teething only causes a slight elevated temperature. The cause for fever and other symptoms at this time is a coincidence as teething usually occurs around the same time as a baby loses their maternal antibody protection, which is when babies are usually affected by their first viruses.