Teeth & Teething

Teeth and teething by Dr Rachel Wood

As all new parents know teething can be quite an emotional time for you and your baby. Your baby’s little gummy smile will change forever with the sudden arrival of these new teeth which can cause pain and discomfort to your little one - and sleepless nights for the rest of the family! 


It is an entirely normal developmental process which usually starts around six months of age - just in time for them to start to be introduced to solid foods during the weaning process. This allows them to much more effectively chew and break down the harder and more complex foods that you’ll be introducing them to. 


There are some signs to look out for to help you know when those first teeth are about to pop through: 


  • Your baby seems a little more unsettled than usual 
  • Their gums look red and sore and they may dribble more 
  • They want to bite on things 
  • Their cheeks can be red on the side where to tooth is erupting 
  • Waking more at night 


Some babies seem to have quite severe symptoms whilst others do not. 


Helping with teething symptoms 


  • Providing teething toys 
  • Chewing on cool or chilled foods such as a banana (ensuring they are not a choking hazard) 
  • Chewing on a cooled teething ring 

 

If these do not seem to alleviate the symptoms, speak to your health visitor or Doctor. 


Normal tooth eruption 


Teeth usually start erupting at around 6 months but it can take up to 2 years for all the baby teeth to arrive. There are 20 baby teeth in total. As soon as the baby teeth start to erupt it is time to visit your dentist so that they can monitor tooth development and ensure that the teeth are healthy. You must also begin to brush your baby’s teeth with special baby toothpaste, in order to keep gums and teeth healthy for life. 


If you have any questions relating to teething, please speak to your dentist or health visitor.