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What is 'teething' in babies?

What is 'teething' in babies?

Teething is the process that transforms your little one’s gummy grin into a smile full of pearly whites. A process that starts when your baby’s teeth - also commonly called ‘milk teeth’ or ‘deciduous teeth’ - emerge through the gums. This journey actually begins well before the first signs of teething. In fact, your baby’s teeth start to develop while they’re still growing in the womb. This is when the teeth buds form, later emerging through the gums sometime after birth Often referred to as ‘cutting teeth’, rest assured that your baby’s teeth don’t actually cut through the gum.

Rather, when the time comes baby’s body releases a mix of chemicals that cause the cells in the gums above the teeth to die and separate. This allows the teeth to emerge, which often happens in pairs.

Did you know?

Some babies can be born with teeth! As crazy as it may sound, ‘Natal Teeth’ can be present at birth. And this occurs more than you might expect. In fact, it happens in around one in every 2,000 to 3,000 births. 

Why do babies start teething

Much like their sleeping habits, appetite and personality, the exact day that teething begins is unique to your little one. Even compared to babies born on the same day! The reason for this? It’s thought to be largely hereditary: If your teeth arrived early, chances are so will your baby’s! On average, most grow their first teeth by the age of 6-7 months. While others can see them arrive as young as 2-3 months old. And in some cases? As late as a year. But whether they arrive early, late, or right on time, rest assured that this has no bearing on their health.


A guide to the stages of teething

The ‘When’ of your baby’s teeth may be unpredictable, but when they do finally show, the process continues in stages. As an example, one lower incisor will appear first. Followed closely by the second. And from there, the next set will begin to emerge. All up? Your little one will be sporting their full set of teeth by 2 ½ to 3 years of age.



Lower front teeth (Lower Central Incisors).


Top middle teeth (Upper Central Incisors).


The two teeth to either side (Upper Lateral Incisors).

The bottom two teeth to either side (Lower Lateral Incisors).


First molars.




Second molars.