Helping Your Baby with Teething

Helping Your Baby with Teething


Teething is one of those parenting rites of passage that it as tough for you as it is for your baby. Unfortunately there’s no escaping it, and your baby will be lucky if they get through all of their teeth without much upset. The good news is that there are some easy ways for you to help your little one.

When will my baby start teething?

There is no hard and fast answer to when your baby’s teeth will start to emerge and it can range from four months up to around thirteen months. The majority of babies start at about six months, with their first set of baby teeth through by the time they are two and a half. There is no link between when your baby starts teething to any other development milestones.

What order will my baby’s teeth appear in?

As a rough guide, this is when to expect your child’s teeth to emerge, and in what order.

5-7 months – the two bottom front teeth (bottom incisors)

6-8 months – the two top front teeth (top incisors)

9-11 months – the two teeth at the top, either side of the middle two (slightly pointy, called top lateral incisors)

10-12 months – the two bottom teeth, either side of the middle two (bottom lateral incisors)

12-16 months – the larger teeth towards the back of the mouth (molars)

16-20 months – more back teeth (canines)

20-30 months – the four teeth at the very back of the mouth (second molars)

It may be the case that you baby’s teeth come through in a slightly different order, such as the top lateral incisors coming before the middle two, giving a fetching vampire appearance! Rest assured that the rest of the teeth will follow.

How will I know if my baby is teething?

It may not be immediately obvious that your baby is teething, especially with the first few teeth to come through. Here are some of the more common ‘symptoms’ that your baby might experience:

– the gums are red and sore

– you can see a white patch in the gums, even if has not erupted yet

– flushed cheeks

– more dribble than usual, which can often irritate the skin around the mouth

– chewing or gnawing on anything they can find

You may also hear anecdotes from friends or family about teething babies having a high temperature or upset tummies, but there is no medical evidence to support this. If your child does have either of these two symptoms, consult with a medical professional to rule out any other causes first.

How can I help my child?

If you think that your baby is teething, or you can clearly see a teeth making its way to the surface, there are lots of options for you to help them. You can buy specially designed teethers, which are often a ring shape. Many of these can be placed in the fridge, as a cod temperature can help to soothe your baby’s gums. If you are giving your baby something to chew on, make sure that there are no small parts which could break off or be swallowed. Don’t ever place a teether in the freezer or tie anything around your baby’s neck.

If your baby is dribbling a lot, make sure that the dribble does not settle or dry onto their skin as this can cause discomfort or a rash. Gently wipe it away and use an absorbent bib or cloth.

There are gels, powders, liquids and painkillers available which may ease your baby’s discomfort. Please consult with a pharmacist, health visitor or GP before using any of these products, as they may not be suitable for your child.

Once your baby’s teeth start to come through, you should start brushing them gently twice a day. Use a toothbrush and toothpaste that are suitable for your child’s age.