Most babies get their first milk tooth at around six months, usually in the front and at the bottom. But all babies are different.
Some are born with a tooth already, and others have no teeth when they’re a year old. Most will have all their milk (or primary) teeth by about two and a half. There are 20 primary teeth: 10 in the top row and 10 at the bottom. The first permanent ‘second’ teeth grow at the back at around the age of six.
Some teeth grow with no pain or discomfort at all. At other times you may notice that the gum is sore and red where the tooth is coming through, or that one cheek is flushed. Your baby may dribble, gnaw and chew a lot, or just be fretful.
There are a range of teething remedies that you can try. It can help to give your baby something hard to chew on, such as a teething ring, a crust of bread or breadstick, or a peeled carrot. (Stay nearby in case of choking.)
Don’t give them rusks, because almost all brands contain some sugar. Constant chewing and sucking on sugary things can cause tooth decay even if your baby has only one or two teeth.
For babies over four months old, you can rub sugar-free teething gel on their gums. You can get this from your local pharmacy. For younger babies, talk to your GP or health visitor.
You could also give them some sugar-free baby paracetamol or ibuprofen. Follow the instructions on the bottle for your child’s age, or check with your pharmacist, GP or health visitor.
Published Date 2011-04-28
Last Review Date 2009-07-28