Teething: Much Ado About Teething

Babies don't grow their teeth until they are about 5 months or more. Some babies will grow their tiny buds at 5 months while others will just start at 9 months or even 11. Babies who start budding after they turned one are called late bloomers. 


           There's usually nothing to worry about when it comes to a baby's teething schedule. Remember, all babies are different, grow differently and learn in their own pacing. Their milestones don't have a specific schedule so teething is no different.

Late Tooth Bloomers

            Either early or late teething is usually hereditary. If you or your partner, as a baby, started teething early there's a high chance your baby will too. If it's common in the family for babies to get their buds at 12 or even 18 months even pediatricians won't jump to conclusions. On some rare occasions, however, late teething could be a sign of a form of malnutrition. Otherwise, it is just all about your the body's pacing so all you have to do is wait and be comforting. Teething can be irritable for some babies. 

The Signs, The Symptoms

         The symptoms for teething differ each baby so it can be difficult to assume or predict when teething starts happening, until you see a pearly edge protruding from the gums. You also can't tell how long it will last since some babies have faster growth than others. But for the sake of helping parents come close to determining whether or not your baby really is teething, here are some of the most common symptoms:
  • Swollen and/or Bulging Gums
  • Drooling (more than you've gotten used to)
  • An Increased Habit of Biting, Sucking and Chewing on stuff
  • Fussiness (it comes and goes, but some babies get fussy up until the buds start showing)
  • Wakefulness (sleepless nights for the both of you)
  • Rashes on the face (but some babies still don't have it)
  • Loss of Appetite (seems moodier than usual, and irritable for baby food)
Since not all babies show the same signs the Diarrhea and Fever thing doesn't apply to everyone. Personally, I do believe that Diarrhea and Fever could be signs of teething. My baby showed them a week and a half before his buds poked through his gums.

Is Diarrhea and/or Fever a Sign of Teething?

          I asked my husband (a licensed nurse and medical technician: yes he wants this mentioned) about this matter and he explained his opinion. He felt that the reason why these are not considered symptoms is because parents might make a habit of dismissing them as just signs of teething and not a possible sign of an illness.

         As common as it is among most moms to claim that Diarrhea, Fever and Rashes (bodily ones) are caused by teething, pediatricians strongly advise parents not to make this assumption It's still advisable to get your baby checked when he gets a fever or diarrhea, an underlying sickness could be the culprit. 

         The only explanation my husband could think of as to why some babies do experience Fever or Diarrhea when teething is because their bodies are unfamiliar with the growing tooth. The immune system then acts up to protect the baby from this foreign object. In addition to that, teething usually happens at a time when the baby starts losing immunity from disease, virus, etc. (courtesy of mum's breast milk).

How to Tell if Fever/Diarrhea is from Teething or Not
         The only way to determine whether or not the fever or diarrhea is caused by teething is to observe. My baby had his fever for two days (1 and a half, technically) and diarrhea for 1 day. If it had continued on beyond that my husband and I would have brought him to the clinic for a check-up. My husband did notice that our baby's gums were red and swollen which led us to believe he is teething; which he really was.

How Long Does Teething Last?

         Around 3 weeks on average. The first few days usually begin with irritability because the gums start swelling up, getting red and bulged. The following weeks focus on the bud rising up to pop out of the gum line. This gum explosion takes a week or so in motion but the period length for the whole tooth to be fully visible varies for each baby.

        When the buds start tearing out of the gum line it starts getting painful for some babies and for others, just really irritating and itchy. The reason why babies drool a lot while teething is because when their gums swell they feel uncomfortable closing their mouths completely. They spend their days jaw-dropped because of the feeling of throbbing gums and therefore cause wet, slippery floors.

Where Does the First Tooth Come Out?

        The central parts. Check the up and down part of your baby's gums. Usually, it's the "rabbit teeth" that comes out first, but some babies show their buds at the bottom center. The side teeth" only come out when the baby is around 9 to 16 months. Here's the usual schedule for teething and their positions:
  1. Central Incisors (bunny teeth)   - between 5 and 12 months
  2. Lateral Incisors (side teeth)      - between 9 and 16 months
  3. First Molars (end teeth)             - between 13 and 19 months
  4. Canine Teeth (vampire teeth)   - between 15 and 23 months (1 and 2 y/o)
  5. Second Molars (next layer)       -  between 22 and 24 months (1 and 2 y/o)
The Third Molar better known as our Wisdom Tooth don't come out until we are a bit older, and they are permanent ones. The teething tooth buds babies grow are Milk Teeth and will fall off during their toddler years and be replaced with permanent ones as they reach 12 year of age, or younger.

When to Start Worrying
           You might want to get your baby checked if he/she hasn't started teething after turning 1 year old. Unless it runs in your family, you shouldn't pass it off as a Late Bloomer syndrome. You baby might not be having enough nutrients or there's an underlying illness causing a delay. Regardless of the reason, you need to act on it to prevent risks.

           You should also ask the pediatrician about missing teeth or your baby skipping growing his central incisors and advancing to his canine or molars without it. Some babies even have teeth or a tooth at birth already. There's no direct known cause for this yet but these usually fall off after a day or two. It might need to get removed if it doesn't grow out and poses a threat for the baby's health. In any case, your baby's pedia should know what to do.

          Now that you know enough about Teething you can learn to expect properly without panicking over the signs of it or being too relaxed. The next step is going to be a little difficult though when baby starts feeling his buds growing.Stay tune for tips on how to handle a fussy little baby with serious teething issues.

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