Teething can be a painful and uncomfortable stage for a baby's development.
As their teeth start to come through, their gums will become sore and because of this, it’s likely your little one will get irritable and emotional.
This can be particularly stressful for parents, so we’ve put together this all you need to know guide to help!
When does teething begin?
Teething usually begins when children are about 6 months old. This can vary but typically this is the process:
Central incisors in the lower jaw typically appear first – this is when children are roughly 6-10 months old.
Upper incisors come next at 8-12 months.
Top lateral incisors are next followed by ones in the lower jar – this is typically between 9-16 months.
The first upper molars come through, followed by lower molars at 13-19 months
Canine teeth are next, again with top jaw coming first followed by lower – this takes place between 16 and 23 months.
Finally, second molars appear, this time lower coming in first followed by upper – this process takes place between 23 and 33 months.
For each tooth, the teething process usually takes around 8 days (incl. 4 days before you can see it pop up).
During this time you may notice a blue-grey colour on the gum, this is totally normal and nothing to worry about.
Babies end up with 20 milk teeth in both their upper and lower jaw by the time they reach 2 ½ - 3 years of age.
Signs of teething
Along with the change in colour on their gums you may also notice the following signs:
Drooling (wipe to avoid a rash)
Sore looking gums
Rubbing their ears
Your little one may be tearful
Chewing hands or toys more than usual
Helping your baby when they’re teething
The good news is there are things you can go to help your little one!
The first and possibly most effective tool is distraction. As simple as it sounds, just taking your child’s mind off the teething can be a great help for instance by playing with them.
If your little one is chewing things, giving them a teething ring can give you more control over what they are chewing on (and helps you keep it clean). Click here for some recommendations.
The NHS also suggests giving children sticks of apples, carrots, or breadsticks to chew on (from 6 months). Please ensure this is only done under adult supervision to prevent choking.
Finally, gently massaging their gums can also soothe them.
Please note: The NHS warns parents to be very careful if you’re considering using teething gels. Unlicenced products online can be dangerous to your little one, plus there is no known evidence to suggest that these work.
If you do choose to give teething gel a go, purchase it from a pharmacy.
Teeth are showing – what now?
Once your little one has one or more teeth showing you should book in their first dentist appointment and start brushing.
Click here for our all you need to know guide to looking after your baby’s teeth.