Once Showing Signs of Teething, When Can You Expect Teeth to Appear?
byCarrie Cross, RNMay 02, 2014
Teething can subject your little one to bouts of pain and discomfort as each tooth pushes its way through the surface of the gums. About three days of teething typically precedes the eruption of a single tooth. Teething often is accompanied by no symptoms at all. The teething process can begin when a baby is only 3 months old, but it is more likely to start between 4 and 7 months of age. The last baby teeth normally emerge sometime between age 2 and 3.
By the time your baby is born, his teeth are formed in his jaws. These baby teeth—or primary teeth—move slowly through the jaws until they reach the surface of the gums. This process is repeated until all 20 teeth have emerged. Children retain their primary teeth until their permanent teeth begin to emerge at between 6 and 7 years of age. Although baby teeth are only around for a short time, they do have a purpose: They are needed for chewing, speaking and keeping a place open for adult teeth.
Signs of Teething
The only reliable signs that a baby is teething, according to the website Baby Care Advice, are red swollen gums or a visible bump in the gums. A wide range of additional symptoms, however, might point to teething. If your baby's cheeks are red, she can't go to sleep or stay asleep or she is irritable, she might be teething, Baby Care Advice says. She may also cough, pull her ears, drool, chew or bite. She may have no appetite or have difficulty at feeding time. Although a teething baby may have a fever of up to 101 degrees, it's important to keep in mind that such a fever does not necessarily indicate your baby is teething -- and any fever of a 101 or higher is a sign of an infection and needs a doctor's immediate attention.
Easing the Pain
To relieve your little one's pain, use something cold, like a damp, rolled-up face-cloth that has been in the freezer. Let him chew on it. You may want to keep several back-ups in the freezer. An ice-cold teething ring may work as well as an ice pop or a frozen juice slushy. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen can be used, just make sure to check the dosage. You might also want to try applying a teething gel or paste to the gums to provide relief.
If teething bothers your baby for more than three days, you may want to consider seeing your doctor. If there is a fever, diarrhea or refusal to drink or breastfeed, a doctor's attention may be required. However, some signs of teething, such as drooling, may simply be signs of development. Although babies have been known to teeth at around 3 months of age, it is more likely that your baby's salivary glands are beginning to work and he's not able to move the saliva to the back of his mouth and swallow it.