A baby with two bottom teeth.
When babies start teething, the most common teeth to appear first are the two bottom ones.

When Do Babies Start Getting Teeth?

It’s difficult to see your child in pain - in any shape or form. When your baby starts teething, it will undeniably bring about some discomfort for you and your child. So, when do babies start getting teeth? In this article, we dive into everything you should know when it comes to teething and your baby’s first teeth. You’ll learn how you can help your baby sleep and handle the pain.

Teething 101

On average, most babies’ first tooth breaks through their gums between 4 and 7 months. As a result, your baby may experience:

  • Tender or swollen gums
  • More crying bouts than normal
  • A desire to chew on things more
  • Eating or sleeping changes
  • Drooling
  • Slightly elevated temperature (around 98F)

While teething may pose as a painful situation, it is temporary, and it should not cause any other forms of illness. If you notice any other symptoms, such as vomiting, rashes, or diarrhea, consult with your doctor. Further, if you have any concerns regarding your child’s teething process, it may also be a good idea to discuss these with your pediatrician or doctor.

The first teeth that will likely break through the gums are the two bottom teeth. About four to eight weeks later, the four front upper teeth will appear, followed by the next two bottom teeth about a month later. The molars and the pointy teeth in the upper jaw are the last teeth to come in. Most children will have their first full set of teeth by the time they are 3 years old. However, it is important to remember that each baby is different, and these times may slightly vary.

Soothing Your Teething Baby

What can you do to help your little one cope? It’s not only a difficult time for your child, but also for you. You may become stressed that your baby seems irritated or cranky quite often. You want to help them, but you may not be entirely sure as to what is wrong or how to help; this can create an additional layer of frustration or stress after becoming a new parent. Luckily, there are ways you can help!

First, it is important to note that what works for a friend and their baby may not work for you. Each baby is different. You may need to try different options before you find one that works.

Apply a Cold Object to Numb the Area

By placing something cold in your baby’s mouth, you can help soothe their pain. You want to be careful here since you do not want to create any choking hazards. Consider placing their pacifier in the fridge, then allowing them to suck on it. You could also do the same with a spoon, cloth, or baby toy. Always ensure the toy or object is clean before it comes into contact with your child’s mouth and avoid freezing the toy. This may become too cold for your baby’s mouth and cause further discomfort.

Massage Your Baby’s Gums

Gently use a clean finger or knuckle to massage or rub your child’s gums. If their teeth have not quite come in yet but they are experiencing discomfort, you can even allow your baby to gently gnaw on your finger or knuckle.

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Give Them Something to Chew On

Use an age-appropriate toy and ensure it is not a choking hazard. Allow them to gnaw on it. This can help ease some of the pain. For instance, many kids or baby stores sell rubber rings that can prove to be a great chewing toy for teething babies. However, it is best to avoid the rubber teething rings that contain liquid, as these can break or leak. A cool cloth may also be a great substitute. Again, ensure it is clean and washed after each use.

Feed Your Baby Chilled Foods

Refrigerated foods can also help ease the pain that your little one is experiencing. If they are onto solid foods, little bits of chilled cucumber are great options. Be careful whenever feeding your baby solid foods though as they could be a choking hazard.

What Else Should You Know?

You can use the above methods during the day or even at night to help your baby (and you) sleep. But what about other aspects like cleaning your baby’s teeth?

Most experts recommend brushing your baby’s teeth with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day. Use a tiny bit of low-fluoride toothpaste, the size of a grain of rice, on either a cloth or a soft toothbrush. Gently rub or brush the teeth. As early as you can, encourage your child to spit out the toothpaste.

You may also want to consider booking your little one’s first dentist appointment upon the emergence of their first tooth. If you do not do this now, ensure you get it done before or around their first birthday. This can ensure that your child’s teeth are developing normally.

While the time of teething can prove to be a difficult time for both parents and baby, you will get through it. If your baby seems overly irritable, it might be best to ask your pediatrician if a small dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen is suitable. They will advise you on how to go about it. Lastly, avoid using teething gels or tablets, since these are not considered the safest option for babies.