From the time your child’s first tooth emerges to how much pain it causes, teething is a different experience for every child. Here’s how to spot teething so you know how to treat the discomfort that comes with it. Symptoms can last for just a few days, right around the time a new tooth is emerging, or for as long as several months if a lot of teeth come through all at once. For a few lucky babies (and parents), it doesn’t cause any noticeable signs at all.
What’s tricky is that there’s no single set of symptoms.
These are common signs of teething:
If you notice several of these symptoms together, it’s very likely that your child is teething – but there’s always the chance that it’s something else.
The first set of teeth peeks through when a baby is between 4 and 7 months old, but it’s also perfectly normal for it to show up a bit later.There’s a wide range of normal for when teeth come in, but they do usually appear in a predictable order.
If your baby has diarrhoea, a fever, or a runny nose, don’t dismiss it as a sign of teething, especially if the symptoms last longer than 24 hours.
Even though many parents think these symptoms seem directly related to their child’s teething, there’s no scientific proof that they’re linked. Experts say fever and diarrhoea are not normal teething symptoms. One of many possible explanations for these symptoms is that because teething babies frequently put things in their mouth to soothe their gums, they get sick from coming into contact with viruses and other germs.
If your child’s teeth are slow to appear but her bone growth, skin, and hair are normal, there’s likely nothing wrong. But if there’s still no tooth in sight when your baby reaches 18 months old, mention it to her doctor – she may refer you to a pediatric dentist.
Late teething doesn’t signal a problem with a child’s overall development. The later these teeth come in, the less time they have to develop decay before they fall out and make way for a child’s permanent teeth.