What is Teething?

Teething is where your baby's milk teeth emerge through their gums. It is a gradual process and one which is exciting yet stressful as well. But for all parents nothing beats seeing your baby's first tooth.

A note to dads: the appearance of your child's first tooth is equivalent to your football team winning the Premiership (substitute this for another sporting event if you are not a football fan!).

So what can you as the 'lucky' parents expect? There is a process to this which is discussed in the following articles:

The 'Joys'of Teething

Ask any parent who has gone through baby teething about what it is like and expect to be told about the sleepless nights, tiredness, irritability and upset caused by this process.

And that's just the parents…..

But seriously, it can be a painful and distressing time for the baby. Your baby may be one of the fortunate ones who does not have any problems during teething but don't raise your hopes. In most cases, teething babies feel unwell; they have a temperature, a tendency to dribble and drool and an urge to chew on anything which is not nailed down.

That also includes your fingers. Yes that'sright your fingers will become a chewable object along with anything else close to hand. But don't worry; your baby isn't doing this because he/she is angry with you. The reason he/she is chomping away on your delicate digits is that it eases the pain caused by the teeth breaking through the gums.

A reassuring thought isn't it?

The emerging teeth

What many parents notice is that one week their baby has a toothless but cute smile but the next time he/she smiles, there is a little white ridge in his/her gum which is a sign of an emerging tooth. But don't expect it to happen all at once though as these teeth appear in a particular order. Plus this is an individual process so the timing of this will vary from one baby to the next. What do we mean by a 'particular order?' This term refers to the fact that there are certain types of teeth that appear before others. You are probably familiar with the words 'canines'and molars'which are two types of teeth along with 'incisors'. If you are unfamiliar with this or did not learn about the teeth during biology lessons at school then visit the articles on teething and incisors, canines and molars. These discuss these teeth and their development in more detail.