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Guide to Teething Symptoms and Remedies

Most babies get their first tooth at around 6 months, usually in front and at the bottom, but all children are different.  Some are born with a tooth already through, while others still have no teeth by the time they are 14 months, depending on such factors as when Mom and Dad started sprouting teeth and whether or not your baby was premature (they tend to teethe on the late side). Most will have all their milk teeth by about two-and-a-half.

How babies experience teething can vary widely, too. Some have teething symptoms, such as excessive drooling and crankiness, weeks before a tooth actually emerges, while others show no signs at all.

Baby-Tooth Timeline
There are 20 milk teeth in all, ten at the top and ten at the bottom.  Typically, babies get their teeth in pairs. First come the middle two on the bottom. A month or so later, the two above those arrive. Still, it's not uncommon to see a baby with four bottom and no upper teeth, or the reverse. A very general timeline is as follows:

6 months: lower central incisors
8 months: upper central incisors
10 months: lower and upper lateral incisors
14 months: first molars
18 months: canines
24 months: second molars
The first permanent ‘second’ teeth come through at the back at around the age of six.

Signs of Teething
Short of actually seeing a tooth poking through, and given that the process is different for every baby, some possible symptoms may be sore and red gums, flushed cheeks, or your baby might dribble a lot, and want to gnaw and chew on everything in sight, or just be fretful.  When the tooth moves through the bone and gum, this tends to happen in stages, with more activity at night than during the day, so your baby may be more irritable then.  Ear pulling can also be a sign, as the pain from the jaw gets transferred to the ear canal.  Naturally, there may also be a change in your baby’s eating habits.

It can be tempting to put all sorts of things – rashes, crying, bad temper, runny noses, extra-dirty nappies – down to teething, when in fact they may be indications of an illness.  If you are unsure about your child’s health, seek advice from your doctor.

Ways to Soothe the Pain
You may need to try a few methods to see what works best for your child:

A wet, frozen washcloth (leave one end dry so she can get a good grip). The thick fabric feels good, and the icy cold numbs sore gums. A teething toy that's been chilled in the refrigerator also works, but frozen toys may be too harsh on an infant's sensitive gums.

Massage. If the tooth is still deep in the gum and hasn't formed a painful bruise, counterpressure or friction where it's about to erupt can work wonders. Try rubbing the area with your clean finger (bare or wrapped in a washcloth).

Infant anti-inflammatory medicines are good bets for temporary pain relief, as are topical oral anesthetics, as long as you don't exceed the recommended dosage.

Distraction. Teething pain is like headache pain  -- it causes chronic, low-grade discomfort. You can often soothe your child simply by getting her mind off the pain. Give her more one-on-one time or offer her a new toy. And don't underestimate the healing power of touch: A little extra cuddling on the sofa may be all that's needed to take a child's mind off her mouth.

Summary
The teething process lasts about two years, but after the first few teeth come in, the process tends to be much less painful.  Once the first tooth appears, try to start cleaning it twice a day by rubbing gently with a washcloth. It is adviseable not to put your baby to bed with a bottle or nurse him to sleep once his teeth come in, since he's now prone to cavities.

Courtesy of http://www.parenting.com/article/guide-teething-symptoms and ‘Birth to Five’ book by NHS