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James Cooke
James is a practice principal at Shore Dental, Sydney. His calm, confident and sympathetic nature makes him a popular dentist…

When do babies start teething?

March 6, 2014 by James Cooke

dental care

Dental care is important from the first eruption of baby teeth.


Image via Shutterstock.

Dental Care for Kids

Typically, the “baby teeth”, otherwise known as primary teeth, may begin erupting at about six months of age, however, this can also occur as early as the first day they are born or as late as your child's first birthday. The teeth begin to form in your child's jawline before birth, and a full set of teeth should have erupted by the age of two to three years of age. The teething process starts with the lower-central incisors – the two bottom front teeth, followed by the upper-central incisors – the two top front teeth. Then follows even teeth erupting, and the teething process ends with the outermost molars, for a total of 20 teeth.

Getting into the habit of going to the dentist regularly should start as soon as within six months of the eruption of the first primary tooth, or by your child's first birthday.

Many babies will experience some level of discomfort during the teething process. Some signs and symptoms of teething can include:

  • Frequent crying and crankiness
  • Reddened cheeks and drooling
  • Sucking or gnawing on toys
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Loss of or reduced appetite
  • A mild fever
  • Mild diarrhoea

If your child is experiencing symptoms such as a fever or diarrhoea, it is important to seek medical advice to eliminate other reasons for the symptoms. Ask your dentist or doctor for advice before using any pain relief specifically created for babies or toddlers, such as topical teething gels. Never give aspirin to your baby or toddler, as the drug has been linked to Reye's syndrome, a fatal illness that affects the brain and liver.

You can help relieve the discomfort of teething by:

  • Washing your hands thoroughly then gently rubbing your baby's gums with a clean finger
  • Give your baby a teething ring or wet washcloth to bite. Teething rings can be chilled in the refrigerator before being used to help manage discomfort associated with teething, but ensure that you don't place them in the freezer.

Liked this post? You may also enjoy reading: “Oral Hygiene for Sydney's Babies and Toddlers