Teething is the process by which an infant's first teeth (the deciduous teeth, often called "baby teeth" or "milk teeth") sequentially appear by emerging through the gums, typically arriving in pairs. The mandibular central incisors are the first primary teeth to erupt, usually between 6 and 10 months of age. It can take several years for all 20 teeth to complete the tooth eruption. Though the process of teething is sometimes referred to as "cutting teeth", when teeth emerge through the gums they do not cut through the flesh. Instead, hormones are released within the body that cause some cells in the gums to die and separate, allowing the teeth to come through.
- Trouble sleeping
- Loss of appetite
- Drooling more than usual
What’s not normal?
Soothe a Teething Baby
What works to soothe a friend’s baby might not work for yours. You may need to try different things to help your little one feel better.
Often, something cold in your baby’s mouth helps. Try a cold pacifier, spoon, clean wet washcloth, or a solid (not liquid) refrigerated teething toy or ring. Some experts say frozen teething toys are too cold and may hurt your baby’s mouth. Make sure to clean teething toys, washcloths, and other items after the baby uses them.
Babies -- especially those who are teething -- love to chew. It’s OK to let your baby chew as much as she wants. Just make sure you know what she’s putting into her mouth and that it’s safe and clean.
A hard, unsweetened teething cracker can be comforting. If your baby is older than 6-9 months, you can offer cool water from a sippy cup, too.
You can also massage her gums by gently rubbing them with your clean finger. If the teeth haven’t come in yet, you can let your baby gnaw on your finger.