Some babies find teething painful; for others it's not a problem. But for all babies teething represents a major developmental breakthrough.
At some stage, normally between 6 and 8 months, you will spot it: the first tooth – or rather, a little tip of white in your child's lower jaw. At last: confirmation of your suspicions. This is what caused of all those bad moods, those seemingly unprompted tears, all that gnawing on anything and everything and that constant dribbling. You will also now be able to help your baby bite down against the pressure pain by keeping him supplied with carrots, apples or cooled teething rings, for example. It gets a bit trickier if you are still breastfeeding. Milk teeth are hard and sharp. Many children keep themselves in check, but some use a little nip to show that they have had enough of breastfeeding.
Your baby’s first teeth represent a great developmental breakthrough in all respects. They are the first step in learning to eat “like grown-ups” and also boost your child’s speech, as they help in the formation of correct, understandable sounds. Constant chewing motions also stimulate further jaw growth. At the same time, the milk teeth, which should all have appeared by the time your child turns three, play an important role in the alignment and spacing of permanent teeth. If a milk tooth is lost too early due to dental decay, the surrounding teeth might shift across into the gap. This could mean that there is no place for the permanent tooth when it arrives, forcing it to squeeze itself in and grow crookedly. So it makes sound sense to take good care of your baby’s milk teeth with regular cleaning from the moment they arrive. For more information and tips on your baby’s first teeth, why not download the NUK Mouth and Teeth Guide?