Your child will grow teeth within the first several years of their lives. It can be an exciting but difficult time for parents and children. Much is changing and there will be an adjustment period for everyone. By knowing what is coming, you can make sure that you are ready to help your child through it. Here is what to expect when your child’s teeth start coming in.
When They Arrive
Teeth begin to grow in after your child turns one-year-old. Most children start to get their teeth around 6 months of age. Some children get their teeth early and some get them later based on genetics. Every child is on a different schedule, which is okay as long as your child doesn’t go too long without teeth. You will likely know when they are coming in because of behavioral changes and you may see them starting to poke through the gums.
Children Will Try To Use Them
When teeth come in, children will try to use them. Once they discover that their teeth can be used to chew and bite things, you will likely see this happen more often. You don’t need to stop your child from biting since they are learning new skills, but you do need to be careful of what your child bites. Hard objects can damage the teeth, so you want to keep harder objects safely away. Likewise, you want to stop your child from putting things in his or her mouth since this may become a problem over time.
Another thing to watch out for is biting people. Your child can start biting people more as a form of expression when he or she is angry. Discourage this behavior when possible so that it doesn’t become a problem later on. Also, be careful when breastfeeding since the new teeth can damage your nipples unintentionally.
The Order of Eruption
While every child is different, teeth erupt in a predictable order. The lower jaw usually starts first and teeth tend to erupt in opposing pairs, meaning that if a lower tooth comes in, the upper tooth is likely to be next. Teeth also start from the front and work their way to the back. So, you will likely see your child’s front four teeth come in first, followed by other teeth on the sides and the molars coming in last.
Tooth eruption can be painful since the teeth are pushing their way through the gums. This is why they are very sharp when they first come in. The sharper they are, the easier and less painful the eruption can be. Your child will likely experience a few behavior problems due to the increased level of pain while teeth come in. You can treat it most of the time with home remedies. Chew toys that can be cooled down, like the ones that you put in the fridge, can offer temporary relief for sore and painful gums. For some children, warm toys can do the same thing. If the problems become severe, as your pediatrician about other options. Advil and Tylenol are often the medications of choice for young children and can be used mildly to address severe symptoms.