The Process of Baby Teeth Development

The process of baby teeth growing, or baby teeth development, is known as teething. Teething isn’t always uncomfortable or painful and many babies sail through the whole process without any problems or teething symptoms. However some babies will struggle with the discomfort caused by baby teeth breaking through their tender gums.

Baby teeth development

Primary teeth, or baby teeth, usually start coming through (erupting) at about 6 months of age. Of course there are always exceptions to this and some babies can start teething at 3 months old or as around their first birthday. Only rarely do teeth erupt later than this so by the age of three most children have all 20 of their primary teeth.

Secondary, or permanent, teeth usually begin replacing primary teeth around 6 years of age. Usually a permanent tooth pushes the primary tooth out as it erupts.

Teething symptoms

When teething is uncomfortable your baby may have several unpleasant teething symptoms.

These can include:

  • Red, swollen, tender gums about 3 to 5 days before a tooth breaks through.
  • Lots of mouth movement! Your baby may try to bite, chew or suck their hands, or anything else they can reach. Biting down on something firm eases the discomfort of inflamed gums. They may like biting chilled objects as the coldness numbs their gums.
  • Your baby may being restless and irritable than usual
  • Her sleep being disturbed
  • Rubbing her ears and having red cheeks
  • Dribbling more
  • A poor appetite
  • A high temperature

Do not hesitate to call your doctor any time you are worried about your baby’s teething symptoms or if you are concerned that your child is late with her teething.

Baby teeth development problems usually resolve by themselves or are easily treated by baby painkillers prescribed by your GP.

How can you help?

If your baby is having some discomfort while teething you could:

  • Comfort and play with her to distract her
  • Massage her inflamed gums with a clean finger
  • Give your baby a clean cool object, such as a cool flannel or cool teething ring, to bite on
  • Let weaned babies bite on chilled raw fruit or vegetables (supervised at all times)

Do not

  • Give baby objects to bite that could break up and cause choking
  • Put teething rings in the freezer – unless they are specially designed for this – as they could crack and leak

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