Teething can occur unnoticed in some babies. For others, it can cause many sleepless nights and much irritability. Understanding what is happening in your baby’s mouth can make for a much more pleasant teething experience.

At what age does teething start?

Your baby’s first teeth will generally start to come through at 6 months old. Some will get them

faster or slower than this. Don’t be concerned if your child reaches 6 months and still doesn’t have any teeth. In an extreme case, some will get teeth as late as 2 years old. Anything beyond this and you should consult your dental professional.

How do I know when teething has started?

  • Increased biting. Babies generally start biting on their toys or fingers to relieve the pressure.
  • Decreased appetite. Babies will generally reject food and drink because of the pain from
  • teething.
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Irritability
  • Excessive drooling
  • Ear pulling. While rare, some babies will pull on their ears to distract from the pain coming
  • from their gums.
  • Increased frequency of stools

How long will it last?

Symptoms can occur 4 days before a tooth appears in the mouth and last for a further three days.

What can I do to help my baby during this time?

  • Rubbing your baby’s gums with your fingers can help, if your baby will allow it!
  • A teething ring that has been refrigerated and given to your baby to chew on can relieve the pain through distraction
  • Finding a dummy that your baby will keep in their mouth
  • Ice cubes or frozen breast milk for your baby to suck on
  • If prolonged, consider paracetamol advised for your baby’s age.

What not to do

  • Your baby will instinctively want to bite on whatever they can get their hands on during this time so make sure sharp-edged toys and other objects are not within reach.
  • Don’t dip dummies/teething rings in honey or anything sweet to make it more appealing to your baby as this can cause decay.

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