This guide gives you useful information on when teething usually occurs, how to recognise the signs that your baby is teething, and some helpful tips to relieve their discomfort.
With the help of these natural tips you can help your little one to get through this often painful period as easily as possible and also start getting them used to a good tooth brushing routine to give their teeth the best start.
When do babies start teething?
Your baby's first tooth will normally appear at between 6 and 9 months old. However, just as with everything else, this is not always the case and there can be dramatic variation in when babies can begin teething. Some start at 3 months, whereas others still show no signs at 10 months and occasionally babies are even born with a tooth poking through.
Babies usually have around 8 teeth which have come through by their first birthday but this can vary. These first teeth are generally followed by the molars, then the canines, and then a second set of molars. Usually, the teething process is complete by around 2 and a half years old.
What are the signs of teething?
Some babies go through teething with very few problems. In fact, the first sign their parents get about the fact they have started teething is the little tooth shining through their gums.
" Many babies become restless and irritable during teething which can also interrupt their sleep. "
Unfortunately, teething isn't a trouble-free process for most babies, as it can be quite painful. The gums often become reddened and swollen as the tooth pushes against them. Many babies become restless and irritable during teething which can also interrupt their sleep. This can also be a cause of discomfort when it comes to eating or drinking and your baby may feed inconsistently.
Other signs of teething include flushed cheeks and heavy dribbling. The increased dribbling can cause your baby’s chin to become red and sore. Using a water resistant barrier cream, like the Organic Babies Nappy Cream Baby Balm, on your baby's chin can help to stop this happening.
Babies also tend to chew on objects when they are teething. They will chew their fingers, toys, and anything else that they find. You can use this to your advantage though and we will give you some tips on how to give your baby things to chew on which will soothe sore gums.
What can help to ease my baby's sore gums?
Babies tend to really enjoy gnawing on objects when they are teething. This habit can be handily used to your advantage by giving the baby things to suck on which will help to ease the discomfort of teething.
If your baby is over 6 months, they may like chewing on chilled – but soft – food stuffs like carrot sticks and celery. These will help to numb painful gums and will also give them something to chew on. However, make sure that you don’t give them anything that is too hard as it can bruise their gums, and make sure that they are supervised.
Other chilled foods like yoghurt, apple purée or chilled drinks can also give your baby relief from painful gums. Make sure you avoid sugary foods when possible as they can cause damage to your baby's developing teeth.
As an alternative to food, teething rings can also provide a good focus for your baby. Some types can be chilled in the fridge making them particularly soothing for sore gums.
One of the simplest natural ways to reduce the discomfort of teething is rubbing your baby’s gums gently with your finger. You can also use little of our Organic Children's Mandarin & Aloe Vera Toothpaste whilst you do this as it is very gentle and babies tend to like the taste of it.
If all else fails in calming your teething baby the simplest solution of all may be the answer - a good old cuddle or massage. Our Organic Babies Soothing Baby Oil, with its soothing silky texture and gentle moisturising action, is perfect for a relaxing massage. Read our baby massage guide.
How and when to start brushing your baby's teeth?
If possible, try to brush your baby's teeth once a day, using natural and organic toothpaste for babies and children and a very soft bristle toothbrush specifically designed for little ones. You only need a very small amount of toothpaste on the brush – just a thin smear across the top of the bristles is sufficient. Here are some other helpful tips:
- Even before your baby's first tooth comes through you can get them used to the feeling of brushing by applying children's toothpaste to your finger, then gently rubbing their gums. Babies who are used to having their gums cleaned regularly should take more easily to tooth brushing later on.
- You can brush your baby's teeth with the baby facing away from you, on your lap, as you can get to the teeth more easily this way.
- Your baby's gums may feel tender when they're teething, so be very gentle, and concentrate on where the gums and the teeth meet.
- Using a natural fluoride-free toothpaste for children means you do not need to worry if your baby swallows it.
- Once your child is old enough, let him or her have a go at holding the brush. They may even enjoy brushing their own teeth.
Have you got a question about organic toothpaste for babies? Our customer care team is happy to help. Please call us on 01403 740350 or leave a comment or question below.