Any parent will tell you that babies cry due to a handful of reasons. Some of the most common ones are hunger, they need to burp or they require a diaper change. Teething is another condition that will make a baby cry. Parents who have experienced their babies teething will vouch that it's not always a fun experience. If you're a first-time parent going through this with your little one, you may be wondering, how long does teething last?
Baby Teeth & Tooth Eruption
Teeth are important for a number of reasons as they help you speak, smile, and chew explains the American Dental Association (ADA). The ADA also points out, a typical person has 20 baby teeth at birth. The upper and lower teeth consist of central and lateral incisors, canines, and first and second molars. Tooth eruption in a baby can start around six months of age with the lower central incisors showing first. They're followed by the upper central incisors as early as eight months of age and are followed by the upper lateral incisors at nine months. The lower lateral incisors arrive just after at ten months.
The remaining teeth tend to erupt in the following order: upper and lower first molars between 13 and 14 months, upper and lower canines between 16 and 17 months, and upper and lower second molars between 23 and 25 months. Keep in mind that no two babies are alike. Some will start teething early while others will start later.
Teething Signs and Symptoms
If you suspect that your baby is teething, there are some familiar signs to look for:
- Fussiness: Teething pain in an otherwise healthy baby can leave your bundle of joy irritable and cranky.
- Trouble sleeping: A change in sleeping patterns, such as waking up multiple times during the night or refusing to nap, can indicate teething discomfort.
- Drooling: When a baby excessively puts things in his mouth, that's a sign of possible tooth eruption. It's typically accompanied by increased drool production.
- Decreased appetite: Even babies who have wonderful appetites might desire less milk as the nursing and bottle-sucking actions can irritate already tender gums.
Treating Teething Pain for Babies
No parents want to see their baby suffer from teething pain. There are a handful of remedies you can try to alleviate the pain. The obvious one is to give your baby a cold teething ring or a cold compress to chew. You can also try rubbing his gums with a clean finger to relieve the pain. A warm bath followed by a rocking motion can help to soothe them as well. Consult with your baby's pediatrician before trying an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen.
So, exactly how long does teething last? This is hard to predict as every child is different. You could be implementing these relief measures for some time.
Brushing Baby Teeth
Baby teeth don't need to be brushed until they've erupted completely. Instead, prepare the gums by wiping them with a square gauze to adequately remove plaque. Do that twice per day especially after meals and before bed.
When it's time to start brushing your baby's teeth, give the Colgate My First Toothbrush a try. It has extra soft bristles for gentle, yet effective cleaning. The toothbrush head is specially sized for small children whose teeth are still developing.
It's important to start a foundation of good oral care at an early age. Developing brushing habits in your children early on can lead to a lifetime of mouth health. That means brushing at least two times each day. Follow up the brushing with flossing to reach those spots a toothbrush can't. And remember to schedule regular cleanings with your dentist to ensure a clean bill of mouth health.