Your little baby takes on a different appearance; from his toothless grin to the emergence of the first tooth through the gums. But the teething process is often accompanied by discomfort and can leave parents and kid frustrated and upset. Find out more about baby teething. Learn to identify symptoms of teething.
The central incisors at the bottom are the first teeth to appear. The upper four teeth (central and lateral incisors) are the next to make an appearance in the baby teething process. It is only after these teeth appear that the first molars make their presence. Typically a child has about 20 teeth on his third birthday - 8 incisors, 8 premolars and 4 secondary molars.
Typical teething milestones
6 months: lower central incisors
8 months: upper central incisors
10 months: lower and upper lateral incisors
14 months: first molars
18 months: canines
25 months: second molars
Typically baby teething occurs anywhere between 4 - 7 months. This can vary from child to child. It is not uncommon for a child to sprout the first tooth after completing a year, nor is it very rare for a child to be born with a tooth. Children who are beginning to teeth tend to drool more and may want to chew on whatever they can lay their hands on. The gums may appear tender and swollen.
Some children may feel cranky and irritable; and experience episodes of disrupted sleep. The pain and discomfort is more when the molars make their appearance. Another teething symptom that is noticed in some children is mild fever or diarrhea. Puffy gums are another common symptom during the teething stage. Often the pain from the jaw gets transferred to the ear canal. The child may experience pain in the ears and cheeks. The baby might tug on the ear. There may be temporary refusal to eat food.
Tips to tackle teething problems
What not to do!
When giving any medication to the child, do not give anything containing benzocaine. The warning issued by US FDA is about a possible condition called methemoglobinemia, which limits the flow of oxygen throughout the body. Do not give aspirin or rub it on the gums.
Stay away from small hard objects for fear of choking. Plastic objects also pose a health risk.