Teething Milestones


Most parents have a love/hate relationship with teething in their little ones. Getting their baby teeth in allows babies to begin eating solid foods, which is a fun stage, but teething is also painful and can turn even the sweetest baby into an emotional basket case. Teething hurts and it makes babies irritable and fussy. It can cause headaches, trouble sleeping, and a refusal to eat like they normally do. Sometimes parents mistake the symptoms of teething for some other kind of illness, especially when those first teeth try to make an appearance. Knowing what the teething milestones are and when to look out for them can help parents to deduce what the problem is more quickly and help their kids feel better sooner.

Baby Teeth
Most babies will get their first tooth between the ages of 4 and 6 months. If your baby takes a little longer, don’t worry. It’s normal for babies not get a tooth until up to 10 months. The two bottom middle teeth are usually the first to poke through, followed by the top two teeth. The rest of the teeth are soon to follow, with your baby growing in 20 baby teeth, usually by age two. The last baby teeth to grow in are the 2-year molars, which may take up to age 3 to come in. Your baby should begin seeing a pediatric dentist once their teeth start coming in to make sure they stay healthy and cavity free.

Big Kid Teeth
Your child will probably grow in their first permanent teeth (the 6-year molars) and lose their first baby tooth within just a few months of each other, starting around age 6. Some kids start this process as early as age 4 or as late as age 8. Usually, baby teeth fall out in roughly the same order that they grew in. This process of losing baby teeth and growing in permanent teeth will continue until around age 12, when your child will get a little break from the teething process.

Wisdom teeth, or third molars, usually begin to try to erupt between the ages of 17 and 21, give or take a couple of years. They usually need to be removed to avoid infection, crowding of the other teeth, and problems with the jaw. A dentist can see the wisdom teeth forming on a x-ray as early as age ten and keep an eye on them. This allows them to know what the game plan will be for removing them, so be sure to visit the dentist regularly to have them checked on.

Alleviating Pain
Relieving the pain of teething for your baby will help them to get some sleep and be more willing to eat during the process. Over-the-counter doses of infant ibuprofen or acetaminophen will take the edge off and give them some relief. This will also help relieve the mild fever that is sometimes associated with teething. Big kids can benefit from these medicines as well. If you want to take a more holistic approach, all natural teething tablets containing chamomile and caffeine are available at most pharmacies. Letting the baby chew on a cold teething toy or a popsicle will help too. Some parents have also reported success with pain relief when they have their teething baby wear an amber necklace. Research these options online and decide what will be best for your baby or kids.

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