Teething - it's never fun for the parent and it's obviously no fun for baby. For new parents, you may be wondering when baby will get its first tooth. For some parents - about 1 in 2000 - your baby may be born with its first tooth. For others, you may still be waiting at 12 months.
The process of teething actually starts in the womb and carries on through to their second year. What we call 'teething' is actually one of the final stages of the process.
Teeth form as tiny buds and steadily build. The process of erupting from the gums is what we call teething and it generally starts two months before the first tooth breaks through. On average, you can expect 'teething' to start at five-six months and that first tooth to arrive around the seven month mark.
This period can quite frustrating for some parents with baby showing signs of pain and distress. Their cheeks may be red, they may drool a lot and bite down on anything and everything. For pain relief, parents have tried many different tactics. Breast feeding mums find that one of the best teething rings is the breast itself - although at times a little painful.
Using gel filled teething rings, particularly those that can be chilled, can be effective. The parents own finger (clean of course) can also be a convenient teething aid. Rubbing the gums gently and allowing baby to bite down can bring some pain relief. You can also find pain relievers such as infant paracetamol - these are not always effective in the long term since you can only use them for 48 hours.
Teething can be a long drawn out affair, or it can be a short painless period where a tooth appears almost overnight. Teething can start at three months or as late as 12 months. Unfortunately, we have no choice in the how or when - like baby, we must endure the process providing what little relief we can. And to think - at the age of six they will slowly fall out again - to be replaced by stronger adult teeth.
If your child has still not developed any teeth by their first birthday - don't panic. If they are growing normally in all other areas then they may be one of the rare babies that teeth late - some as late as 15 months. If you are concerned, obviously, see your family doctor. However, in the majority of cases, any development problems that would affect teething will have been picked up through other issues such as feeding, lack of weight gain or one of many other development issues.