Teething is usually a dreaded topic among mothers of infants. It brings to mind visions of untamable crankiness, pitiful crying, and having to sit back and watch your baby in pain. It’s usually just as frustrating for the helpless parent as it is for the baby.
The first tooth usually emerges when the child is 4-7 months old, according to KidsHealth.org. BabyCenter.com explains that usually, the two middle teeth on the bottom come in first, followed by the top two middle teeth. The molars usually make an appearance when the child is around two years old, BabyCenter says, and the child should have all 20 baby teeth around age 3. These should last him until his permanent teeth start growing in around age 6.
One thing you can do to ease the pain is to rub a cold washcloth or a piece of ice wrapped in a washcloth on the gums. This helps numb the irritated area.
Give the child something to chew on (like a hard, rubbery teething toy), because it helps the teeth break through better. Putting it in the freezer for a while to chill it helps numb the gums as well. Just make sure it doesn’t become frozen or it could bruise the gums.
Wipe the child’s face with a cloth regularly to remove drool, which could cause rashes if left for too long.
Once your baby’s teeth do erupt from the gums, you will need to gently brush them regularly to prevent early tooth decay and dental visits down the road.
According to my mother, though, sometimes all it takes is time. Your baby will eventually outgrow this stage in life and end up with a mouth full of wonderful teeth, which will eventually be replaced by the much easier event of emerging permanent teeth.