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Pregnancy & Parenting


Q&A

Your Teething Baby

Question:

When do milk teeth start appearing and how can I soothe my baby's sore gums?


Your baby will have most of her teeth by 18 months, and teething usually gets better after the first few have appeared. She should have a full set of milk teeth by around 3 years. Here's the order in which they normally appear:

1 First incisors (bottom) 6-8 months
2 First incisors (top) 6-8 months
3 Second incisors (top) 8-10 months
4 Second incisors (bottom) 8-10 months
5 First molars (top) 12-16 months
6 First molars (bottom) 12-16 months
7 Canine teeth (top) 16-20 months
8 Canine teeth (bottom) 16-20 months
9 Second molars (bottom) 2-3 years
10 Second molars (top) 2-3 years


Easing Teething Pain
When your baby's teething, there are several ways to alleviate the pain and discomfort. She'll want to chomp on anything she lays her hands on, so give her a chilled teething ring to bite on! But avoid using liquid-filled teething rings once her new tooth erupts because the tooth could puncture them. You could also give her a stick of cold, peeled carrot or apple or an unsweetened rusk to chew.

If she's reluctant to eat, try giving her cold foods such as cold purées, chilled water and ice-cream and cold fromage frais to help soothe her sore gums. Rubbings her gums by gently massaging with a finger also help. Come night-time, you might want to use teething gel to numb your baby's gums.

If your baby's over 3 months old, you can give her a dose of infant paracetamol or ibuprofen to ease the pain if she wakes up and can't be soothed. But it is important to distinguish between normal teething symptoms and signs of illness. If your baby has a high temperature (over 37.5°C) or any other signs of illness (e.g. diarrhea, vomiting, cold symptoms), seek medical advice.

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