Babies are generally born with 20 baby teeth starting to get through the gums at about 6 months while for others they don’t come until around 1 year old and all the teeth have generally emerged by the moment the baby is 2 to 3 years of age. This process is called teething.
They will drop out at different times during adolescence. The baby teeth will be replaced by 32 adult teeth from age 6 onwards.
Misconceptions of teething
As each baby tooth gets to the surface of the gum, the gum opens up to show the tooth, which can cause pain. Many parents think that when babies that are teething:
- cry a lot or seem extra irritable
- do not eat as usual
- suck objects such as toys, dummies and bibs
- pull the ear on the same side as the tooth coming through
These signs could be caused by teething which is a normal part of development or a result of minor infections and illnesses.
When new teeth start to come through the gum, babies sometimes rub their gums together. Usually this isn’t a problem.
Child teething remedies
If you’re concerned about your baby’s teething, you can try:
- gently rubbing your baby’s gums with a clean finger
- giving your baby something to bite on, such as a cold (but not frozen) teething ring, toothbrush or dummy
- cooking mushier foods, which need less chewing
- giving your baby something firm, like a sugar-free rusk, to suck on.
If your baby isn’t well, has a fever or diarrhea or you’re worried about any other symptoms, talk to a doctor. Teething may not be the main problem here.
Dr. Wanwadee Sapmee Panyakat, MD. (1 July 2020)