February 3, 2010


Teething, Baby Teeth, and Permanent Teeth

Near six months of age, baby teeth (or primary teeth) start to come in. This process is known as teething. In a few years, most often by the age of three, the full set of twenty baby teeth will have grown in and this process will be through.

The baby teeth start to fall out when they are pushed by the adult teeth. This starts near the age of five or six and is done by age twelve or thirteen. By that time, twenty-eight of the thirty-two adult teeth will have grown in. The four remaining teeth are known as wisdom teeth. These do not break through the gums until a few years later.

Common Symptoms of Teething

For many infants, teething is painful and may lead to complications. These may include sleeplessness and irritability, loss of appetite, and drooling. Teething may also bring flushed cheeks, coughing, stomach pain, and cysts. Cysts are best left untouched as the baby teeth will break through and get rid of them.

While these symptoms are normal and no cause for alarm, symptoms such as diarrhea and fever are not. Babies who have these symptoms while teething should be seen by a doctor.

Ways to Alleviate Teething Pain

There are ways to relieve some of the pain that goes with teething. For instance, allow the baby to suck on a cloth soaked in cold water.

Teething rings and pacifiers can also give some relief, though these should be cleaned before each use. Thumb sucking may ease the pain, but it should not be allowed to continue after the first adult teeth come in.

Learn more about oral hygiene for kids.