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When Will My Child Cut Teeth?

By Lynn Shear, edHelperBaby

When Will My Child Cut Teeth?
           Sometime around six months of age, most babies begin teething, the process of cutting teeth.  For some babies this process begins closer to three months and for others closer to twelve months.  Either end of the spectrum is normal.  Usually the first teeth to appear are the bottom two middle teeth.  Then come the four upper teeth around a month or two later.  The two bottom teeth on the sides come through in about another month.  By three years old, your child should have all twenty of his primary teeth.

       Usually, babies experience a period of irritability when they begin teething.  Their gums may be swollen and sore before a tooth comes through.  This can last for about three to five days before a tooth shows and should disappear as soon as the tooth breaks the skin.  Some babies show no discomfort at all, and others have a period of a few weeks when they seem to be uncomfortable.  Both of these scenarios are normal when it comes to teething.  At this time, most babies are beginning to sleep for longer stretches at night, but teething can interrupt that sleep.  It can seem like a bad joke (just when they started sleeping!), but it shouldn't last long.  If your child seems to be experiencing severe discomfort or pain, check with your doctor.  It may be something other than teething.

       Most babies like to chew on their fingers, toys, or anything else within biting distance when they are teething.  They may also drool excessively.  Take care to wipe the drool off with a soft wipe so it doesn't cause a rash.

       Babies may experience discomfort when teething.  There are varying methods of helping to ease that discomfort.  There are many teething rings and chew toys on the market.  When choosing these, pick ones that are soft and flexible rather than hard and stiff.  For my own daughter, I choose toys with various textures.  She also enjoys blankets - she will chew on the corner for several minutes.  A wet washcloth can also help with teething pain.  Just make sure you wash it between each use.  If symptoms persist, talk to your doctor about possibly giving your baby acetaminophen or ibuprofen appropriate for his age and weight.  Be assured, however, that the pain of teething will soon pass, and your child will return to his normal self.


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