Teething – when babies get their teeth
When babies teethe, it is often very painful and they become cranky and cry a lot. Unfortunately, the little ones have to suffer through, but here are some tips for how parents can best help to soothe the pain. In addition to answering the question: "when do babies get their teeth?", you can also find out about the signs that indicate teething.
When do babies get their teeth?
Strictly speaking, babies actually have teeth during pregnancy already. But they are still in the child's jaw and have to break through first. It is extremely rare for a baby to be born with little teeth already. The first milk teeth usually start to break through at six months. It is not unusual for teething to start earlier or even later. A rule of thumb: Parents can expect one tooth per month from this point on.
The first milk teeth to come through are usually the front incisors in the lower jaw. Then come the upper incisors followed by those next to them. The front molars come around half a year later, followed by the canines and finally the rear molars. Thus, the primary dentition should be complete with 20 milk teeth at around the age of three.
Teething – typical symptoms
As is so often the case, teething also is different with every baby. Some babies teethe fairly easily, but for others it is very painful. There are some symptoms where parents can recognise that their baby has begun to teethe:
- Their child keeps putting their own fingers or objects in their mouth to chew on
- Potentially warm, red cheeks or a sore bottom
- Red, swollen gums
- Increase in saliva
- Sore skin around the mouth
- Increased crankiness and screaming
- Less appetite
- Restless sleeping
It is assumed that the immune system becomes weakened by teething, which could even result in a mild fever or mild infection. Diarrhoea can even occur in connection with the first teeth. If these signs persist, you should consult your paediatrician to make sure that teething is really the cause.
What relieves the pain of teething?
There are various ways for parents to be able to soothe their child's pain. Distractions and lots of cuddles, however, still offer the best pain relief for a teething baby.
The following methods can also help to relieve the pain of teething:
- Massage their gums: Either with clean fingers or special finger cots.
- Teething rings: These teething aids are proven to help with teething. There are also special teething rings that can be cooled. This offers additional help. Attention: The freezer is too cold! Alternative options include e.g. cold wash cloths if the baby prefers to chew on soft things when teething.
- Hard foods: Hard bread, carrots or apples are also good alternatives to chew on. However, parents should be careful here that the child does not choke and that this method is not permanently used due to the risk of caries from the fructose.
- Teething gels: There are special gels to rub on your baby's gums. These "numb" the pain and can inhibit inflammation
You should also make sure that your baby drinks plenty to balance out the loss of liquids caused by the increase in saliva. This increase in saliva in particular can also lead to sore areas around the mouth. Creams e.g. with calendula or zinc can offer help.
Care from the first tooth
The teeth should be brushed as soon as the first milk tooth appears. To prevent caries, regular oral hygiene in the mornings and evenings is important from the beginning. An age-appropriate children's toothbrush can already be used for the first teeth. We have compiled some tips on when you should start brushing your baby's teeth, which children's toothbrushes are suitable, which technique you should use to brush baby's teeth and how you can manage to make brushing teeth fun for the little ones.