When do milk teeth grow?

First milk teeth usually arrives around 6 months. This period may change for some. Babies may begin to teethe around 3 months, while some may start much later around 12 months. First, mandibular central incisors arrive. Afterwards, maxillary central incisors and mandibular/maxillary lateral incisors arrive. Then, the first milk molars and canine teeth and lastly the second milk molars erupt. The eruption of milk teeth is completed around the age of 2.5 -3. There are a total 20 milk teeth in a baby: 10 in the upper jaw and 10 in the lower jaw.

Why has teething begun early/late?

The period of teething may vary among babies. While the early or late eruption of milk teeth may cause decay susceptibility or other problems, it is not a cause of concern. As the babies start walking and talking during the different periods of their development, they may also start teething in different times.

In rare cases, babies may teethe early/late or may not teethe at all, but this is usually accompanied by another disease. Meanwhile, the baby is probably checked by doctors due to different health problems. For a healthy baby, early or late teething is not a matter of concern.

For babies teething early, brushing should begin early too. Tooth brushing beginning with the first tooth eruption may cause some trouble for the mothers of the babies teething early. As the age becomes younger, effective tooth cleaning may become difficult.

It should be noted that permanent teeth of the babies whose milk teeth arrive late may erupt late and this should also cause no alarm. Therefore, when evaluating the problems in milk teeth (decay, fracture etc.), it should also be noted that the milk teeth may fall out late and the necessary procedure must be delayed accordingly.

What are the symptoms of teething and what kind of complaints do teething babies have? 

The symptoms and complaints during teething may vary from baby to baby and from tooth to tooth in the same baby. The symptoms and complaints begin 1 week before the teething and end when the tooth passes the gingiva and becomes visible inside the mouth. This process continues between 6 months and 3 years. The teeth causing the most symptoms and complaints are usually milk molars. Because it is harder for them to pass through the gingiva. The most difficult period of the teething is the time when the tooth pierces through the gingiva. During this time, if you touch the area where tooth eruption is expected, you may feel an increase in the temperature and see whitening in the gingiva. Most of the time, the sharp surfaces of the teeth can be felt if touched.

The symptoms that your baby may experience during teething include: increase in saliva and associated redness and irritation around the cheeks and lips, coughing due to the saliva gathering in the throat, regional pain resulted from the pressure occurring in the gums during the eruption and accompanying irritability., crying, ear scratching and pulling, problems in feeding and sleep patterns, lack of appetite, trying to bite and chew on everything due to itchy gums, fever, diarrhea, small bleedings in the eruption site cause by the erupting tooth.

Symptoms such as fever, diarrhea, ear scratching, lack of appetite displayed by the baby during teething should not be ignored. Your baby may display such symptoms due to another infectious disease having the same symptoms. Teething-related fever does not rise above 38.5 degrees and does not last long. Teething-related diarrhea does not last longer than 3 days. Irritability is normal, if it does not last longer than 1 week. In case of high and long-lasting fever, diarrhea and irritability, you should consult a doctor to investigate the underlying cause of them.

Do teething babies have high fever?

High fever is one of the symptoms that may be observed in teething babies. Besides high fever, diarrhea and lack of appetite are symptoms that may be experienced during teething. However, not all babies experience high fever or diarrhea problems. High fever around 37-38.5 may be a symptom of teething. However, high fever that is above 38.5 and long-lasting may be a symptom of infection. Infectious diseases coincide with teething may mask each other. Therefore, symptoms such as high fever, diarrhea, irritability and lack of appetite should not be ignored and you should consult a doctor even if you believe they are teething related. Teething related high fever may be controlled with drugs containing paracetamol (active ingredient of the analgesic and anti-febrile drugs).

What should I do to sooth my teething baby?

There are a couple of simple methods to soothe a teething baby.

One of the simplest solutions is cold compress. This may be done in several different ways.

After washing her hands with cold water for a long time, mother may compress and message the painful area. This will soothe the baby during teething. This may be done with a clean cloth kept in cold water. During this procedure, holding and embracing the baby in your arms will make him/her feel secure and soothe him/her.

Another way of cold compressing is to hand baby hard foods such as cucumber, carrot that are kept in the fridge. While your baby is eating such foods, it will also apply cold massage to the painful area.

Another method of cold compressing is to freeze breast milk or fruit purees in ice tray and let baby eat them. Giving the baby a piece of ice wrapped inside a clean cloth will have the same effect. In this way, pain and burning sensation in the area will subside.

Another method that can be used to soothe a teething baby is tooth scratchers. Non-plastic and dye-free scratchers filled with water may be given to baby for chewing. Before giving baby the scratcher, keep it in the fridge for 5 minutes to increase effectiveness. It will soothe the area of eruption. While babies chewing on hard foods or tooth scratchers, it is important to keep the baby in sitting position and watch him/her in order to avoid any potential accidents.

If above-mentioned local applications are not enough to soothe the baby during teething, pain killers containing paracetemol, anti-histaminics or gel and solutions to be used under doctor supervision will be effective.

Spending more time with your baby and holding him/her more frequently will be very effective in easing the irritability experienced by a teething baby. The embrace of the mother increases the tolerance towards everything and strengthens the feeling of security. By holding your baby in your arms, you may make him/her feel that you understand his/her pain, that you are there for him/her and will soothe the baby.

What about the drug use in teething babies?

If local applications made are not soothing the teething area, drugs may be used to soothe the teething babies. A paracetamol containing drug prescribed by a doctor may subside the symptoms of teething and help soothing the baby. Since all kinds of allergic symptoms (itching, rash, fever) are experienced during the teething and it is actually an allergic reaction, an antihistaminic (allergy medicine) prescribed by the doctor may soothe the teething baby. In addition to these, there are gels and solutions in the market that may be applied to tooth eruption area locally. Such gels and solutions may contain chemical or herbal ingredients. Gels and solutions take effect in short time and help the mother more than the baby. If you want to try these, you should consult a doctor and use them under doctor’s supervision.

What kinds of tooth scratchers should be used during teething?

Babies do lots of things to relieve the itching sensation that they feel during teething. Babies mostly use their hands to scratch their teeth. In addition, they also use special toys produced as tooth scratchers that may be used during teething. There are many types of scratchers, but non-plastic and dye-free versions must be preferred. We mostly recommend the tooth scratchers filled with water. If these tooth scratchers are kept in fridge for 5 minutes and handed to the baby afterwards, then the cold will also help soothing the itching area. During this, one should pay attention to the cleanliness of tooth scratchers and hands of the baby. When an item is given to the baby for chewing, parents should watch the baby and baby must be in sitting position in order to prevent the risk of choking.

When should babies receive their first dental examination?

First dental examination of the babies must be made within the 6 months following the first teething. The reason for making the first dental examination this early is to inform parents about the diet of the baby and how to clean the teeth of the baby. As a result of improper dietary habits and negligence of tooth hygiene, early childhood decays (commonly known as baby bottle tooth decays) are seen frequently. In order to take measures and if necessary, to benefit from protective treatments in this regard, the first dental examination of the babies must be made as soon as possible after first teething.