Baby's first teeth and reducing teething pain
When do a baby’s first teeth come in? How can you relieve the discomfort of teething and how long does it take for all of a baby’s teeth to come in? You can read about everything from your baby’s first teeth until their mouth is totally developed here!
When do the first baby teeth come in?
On average, babies get their first teeth when they are between 4 and 7 months old. If your baby’s first teeth come in earlier or later, there’s no need to worry. Every baby is different, so between 4 and 7 months is simply an average and not a certainty. The first teeth that babies get are often the incisors in the lower jaw. The incisors in the upper jaw are often the next teeth to come in, and the remaining teeth next to these generally follow after.
How do you recognize the symptoms of baby teeth coming through (teething)?
Getting their first teeth (teething), can be pretty uncomfortable and painful for babies. This is because their gums are under pressure, because the baby teeth are naturally pushing their way out. There are plenty of symptoms that can help you recognize first teeth coming through. Often, signs of teething may be that the baby cries a lot or is easily irritated, starts drooling a lot or has swollen gums, even refuses to eat or has restless sleep. Alongside this, they may begin biting everything, rubbing their cheeks, or pulling their ears.
Some babies even experience diaper rash, increased body temperature/fever, or diarrhea. If these symptoms last for any extended period of time it’s wise to consult with a doctor.
What can we do to relieve the pain of teething?
Of course, you want to do your best to ease the pain associated with your baby’s first teeth coming in. There are a few things you could try to ease teething pain:
- Massage the baby's gums at the place where the tooth is coming through.
- Let the baby bite a teething ring. This can help give some relief to the teething symptoms. There are also some teething rings nowadays that have a cool element which can help ease discomfort as well.
- Let your baby eat cold fruit or for example a cold cucumber. For example, pureed - for children not old enough for solid foods.
- You may also choose to give your baby ibuprofen or acetaminophen for pain relief. If you do so, it is wise to keep dosage low (only one dose) and consult your pediatrician.
How long does it take from the first teeth until all of the baby teeth have come in?
Children often have most or all of their baby teeth at around 3 years old. That is around 20 teeth. At first, between 4-7 months the baby gets the bottom incisors. Around 8-12 months, the top incisors come in and the rest of the incisors. Between 13-19 months, the front molars start to come in, followed by the canines in months 16-22. Finally, the four back molars come in most often around months 20-33.
When do kids lose their baby teeth?
We’ve just learned that kids have all of their baby teeth when they are around 3 years old. But, kids will lose their baby teeth in exchange for adult teeth when they are around 6 years old.
The new teeth push out the old baby teeth, loosening the roots until eventually the baby teeth fall out. Then the new adult teeth come into place, replacing the baby teeth. Most kids lose all of their baby teeth and have a full set of adult teeth by the time they are 12 years old.
The wisdom teeth may start to come in a few years later. This is often around 18 years of age, but can happen much later in life or sometimes the wisdom teeth never come in!
How often should you brush your child’s teeth?
When the first teeth come through, you can already begin brushing and caring for them. Even though they’ll lose their baby teeth in a few years anyways, it is still very important to care for their baby teeth and oral hygiene.
Baby teeth have a softer enamel layer than adult teeth. Due to this, cavities and damage to the enamel can happen more quickly. And, if a child loses their baby teeth too early or doesn’t practice good oral hygiene this can cause problems when their adult teeth come in.
How to care for your child’s baby teeth?
Once they come in, it’s really important to take care of your child’s baby teeth. So, here are a few tips!
- Only use toothpaste that is suitable for the age of the child.
- Use a special toothbrush suitable for the age of the child. (The softer the better.)
- Brush teeth 1 time per day, until the child is 2 years old.
- Brush teeth twice per day, if the child is 2 years old or older.
Brush your child’s teeth until they are around 10 years old.