Childhealthy’s Newsletter: What are the Stages of Teething?

Welcome to Childhealthy’s latest newsletter update. Here at Childhealthy, we understand that trying to soothe a teething baby, brushing a toddler’s teeth, and managing dental hygiene in children of all ages can be difficult. With this in mind, this newsletter will discuss everything you need to know about teething, from signs and symptoms to stages and treatments. This also includes information for teething toddlers and good hygiene practices for when those pearly whites have finally arrived!

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When do babies start teething?

The teething process begins at a different time for every baby, and some babies may commence teething earlier than others. This is normal – and nothing to worry about, so try not to compare your baby’s teething journey with others. It may surprise you to know that some babies are born with teeth. Some babies will start teething at four months, others may take 12 months. However, the majority of babies will start teething at around six months.

What are the signs of teething?

If you are unsure whether your baby is teething, there are a few signs and symptoms that you should look out for:

  • Sore/red gums
  • A rash develops on the face
  • Trouble sleeping 
  • Dribbling more than usual
  • One flushed cheek
  • Regularly chewing on things
  • Rubbing their ear

Please note that not all babies will experience these symptoms. Sometimes baby teeth can develop without pain or discomfort…if this is your baby…breathe a sigh of relief!

There are a few common misconceptions surrounding teething. Firstly, teething does not cause a fever. However, it can slightly raise your baby’s temperature. If your baby has a high temperature – and you are concerned, always seek medical advice from your GP or paediatrician, like our team members at Childhealthy. Some parents also believe that teething can cause diarrhoea. This is another common misconception.

Stages of teething for babies and toddlers

Teething is a long process. We understand that it can be difficult for both the child and the parent. However, we believe that understanding each stage of the teething process can help you know what to expect. So, you can ease your child’s discomfort – and your own. Let’s discuss the five different stages of teething below: 

Stage 1: (0-6 months) All babies are born with a complete set of 20 primary teeth. These are located in the jawbones beneath their gums. 

Stage 2: (6-8 months) The first teeth emerge. These are the upper and lower incisors (front teeth). Slight pain and discomfort may start to occur prior to this. You will notice that your baby will enjoy chewing on toys to alleviate pain. 

Stage 3: (10-14 months) The primary molars begin to erupt in the back of the mouth in the upper and lower jaws. During this stage, you will notice your baby drools more than usual. Their sleep schedule may also be more disruptive. Help ease their discomfort by giving them something to chew on, like a teething ring. 

Stage 4: (16-22 months) Canine teeth will grow. These are located between the incisors and molars on the top and bottom. Try to keep your baby comfortable by allowing them to chew on toys. 

Stage 5: (25-33 months) The final stage. During this time, large molars will erupt. These are the biggest teeth and often the most painful. You may find that your usual soothing techniques no longer work. Try alternative methods like allowing your child to chew on hard vegetables.

How long does teething last?

Waiting for your baby’s first teeth to develop can be an exciting – yet daunting – time for most parents. Be aware that the teething process does take a long time. Most babies will begin teething around six months and can continue until they are 33 months old. Even after this time, the teething process is not entirely over until your child develops permanent molars. This usually happens around 6-7 years of age. Again, be aware that all babies are different. Some will develop teeth quicker than others.

Looking after your baby’s and toddler’s teeth

Oral hygiene is crucial for your child’s health, so get a head start by brushing your baby’s teeth as soon as they start to appear. Use fluoride toothpaste and a baby toothbrush to clean your child’s teeth carefully. As time goes on, gradually start brushing your child’s teeth more thoroughly. A tiny smear of toothpaste is recommended for babies and toddlers up to 3 years old. For 3-6 years, use a pea-sized amount.

It’s fine if you cannot brush their teeth for the recommended two minutes at first. It’s just important to just get them used to brushing their teeth as part of a routine. It’s recommended that you brush their teeth at least twice a day, preferably in the morning and before bedtime. Try to incorporate brushing their teeth into your teeth brushing schedule. This will help set a good example as your child will see you brushing your own teeth on a daily basis. 

It’s also important to ensure your child gets regular check-ups at the dentist, just to make sure their teeth are healthy and growing proportionately. You can take your child with you to your own dental check-ups so they get used to visiting the dentist.

How to soothe a teething baby

It can be difficult to soothe your teething baby. Seeing them in discomfort can be distressing. Luckily, there are plenty of treatments out there that can help. Teething toys are helpful aids as you can put them in the fridge before giving them to your baby. This gives them something safe and cool to chew on, which will help them feel more at ease. Cool water, a cold dummy, and teething gels can also support your child. Teething gels contain a mild local anaesthetic. They are safe for your baby to use and can provide a cooling sensation on your baby’s gums. If you have concerns, consult with your GP before using one. 
If you would like to gain some more advice on how to soothe a teething baby, don’t hesitate to contact Childhealthy via our website.

What are some good dental hygiene practices?

Regardless of your child’s age, helping them to keep on top of their dental hygiene and establishing a good routine is a vital part of their health. Some of our top tips include:

  • Routine: Make sure that you brush twice a day for two minutes at a time – not forgetting to brush your tongue and gums to help get rid of any lingering bacteria!
  • Technique: Hold your brush at a 45-degree angle to your teeth, using back and forth and up and down motions to cover every surface of each of your teeth. Don’t forget those molars at the back!
  • Checkups: Don’t forget to get regular checkups, in order to spot issues before they have the chance to evolve.
  • Diet: A good diet does wonders for your health, and oral health is included. A healthy, balanced diet with plenty of calcium-rich foods including broccoli, eggs, cheese and milk can contribute to keeping teeth strong. 
  • Avoid sugary drinks and sweets: This one goes hand-in-hand with a good diet – avoiding sugary foods and drinks that coat the teeth and help harbour bacteria will really help to improve oral hygiene.

If you would more advice, don’t hesitate to contact Childhealthy via our website.

Below we have included links to some useful information:

New Childhealthy pages

If you are looking to book an appointment or are looking for some useful tips for travelling with children, please visit these pages for more information:

Book An Appointment: Our new appointment page will provide you with information about how to book an appointment or class through our website, the services we offer, prices and what to expect during a consultation.
What to take when travelling with children: With the world beginning to open up again after lockdown, you may be thinking about travelling with children or taking trips abroad. It’s best to be prepared with little ones in case of unexpected illness, so here’s a practical guide to what to take with you when you go.

Childhealthy updates

We are excited to announce that our practice now has its own dedicated room at The Portland Hospital, located on the 2nd floor. Our address is the same, but we will be based on the 2nd floor for all appointments with all consultants.

234 Great Portland St
Marylebone, London
Tel: 020 7390 8045

Daily appointments are available and we continue to offer appointments as usual at The Cromwell Hospital in Kensington. To book an appointment, please visit our website. 

We would also like to introduce the wonderful Millie Powell, a children’s physiotherapist with a wealth of experience in treating babies and children with a range of conditions, such as:

  • Plagiocephaly
  • Torticollis or preferential head turns
  • Musculoskeletal conditions
  • Orthopaedic conditions following an acute injury, such as back or knee pain

As well as managing and treating complex conditions, Millie is passionate about injury prevention and health promotion. She has also worked extensively with prematurely born babies to ensure they receive the best possible care and undergo normal physical development. 

Ms Powell offers appointments at The Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, as well as home visits for physiotherapy. Please book an appointment through our website today to get started. 

How to reach us

Follow us on our social channels for regular updates from the Childhealthy team, and as always please do let us know about any topics you want to see covered via email –

Take advantage of the sunshine and we’ll catch up again next month. Have a great rest of your month!

Dr Yiannis and the Childhealthy team