When does teething start?

The first tooth normally appears at more or less 6 months of age.  It is however not something that is set in stone, and many babies may have no teeth by their first birthday.  In some cases, teeth have erupted as early as 3 months of age.  Each child develops at his or her own pace, no one is the same.  Whenever the teeth start to make their appearance, all 20 primary/milk teeth should be in place by the age of 2 – 3 years.

Signs and symptoms

  • Excessive drooling
  • Intense chewing and biting
  • Unusual night waking or crying
  • Irritability
  • Inflamed and swollen gums
  • Looser stools accompanied by a “sour” smell and nappy rash
  • Low-grade fever

In what order do milk teeth appear?

Normally the bottom then the top two front teeth (incisors) appear first, followed closely by the teeth on either side (lateral incisors).  Thereafter the lower molars come in followed by the upper molars.  Next to erupt are the lower and upper canines, followed finally by the lower and upper back molars.

How to soothe a teething baby?

  • Teething rings and other toys – silicone teethers can be kept in the refrigerator, ready to cool and soothe sore gums. Chewing on toys with knobbly textures may help the teeth erupt.
  • Teething gels – soothing teething gel may be used. It is not recommended to use anaesthetic gels that numb the gums.
  • Medication  may be used if really needed. Keep this to night-time use if you can