All About Teething
Did you know that the process of teething is commonly referred to as ‘tooth eruption’? Maybe that’s why little people are as unpredictable as volcanos during this sensitive time!
Your baby is born with a set of 20 teeth hidden beneath the gums. Teething is the process of these teeth working their way through the gums. The eruption of primary teeth usually begins around 4-8 months of age with the eruption of the lower incisors and is complete at around 30-36 months of age when second primary molars erupt. However, the timing of tooth eruption varies by as much as six months.1
It is important that these first teeth are kept healthy, as they each keep a place for the adult teeth that come later. The natural loss of a baby’s first teeth and arrival of adult teeth usually happens between the ages of six years and 12 years. The first adult teeth to appear are four molars. They come in behind the baby molars.2
Teething may bring on a host of symptoms such as irritability, increased salivation, runny nose, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, rash, sleep disturbance and gum rubbing.3 Be careful not to confuse teething symptoms with other illnesses. If in doubt speak to your healthcare professional and seek their advice.
3 Marks, SC. The basic and applied biology of tooth eruption. Conn Tiss Res. 1995; 32(1-4): 149-57. 4. Wise GE, Marks SC, Zhao L. Effect of CSF-1 on in vivo expression of c-fos in the dental follicle during tooth eruption. Eur J Oral Sci. 1998; 106 (Suppl. 1): 397-400.
2 Teething: What can I expect? Oral Health for Babies. Based on materials developed by the City of Ottawa, People Services Department
1 Article : Teething symptoms and management during infancy – A narrative review, YI Karjiker1 , JA Morkel2, SADJ March 2020, Vol. 75 No. 2 p87 – p93