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Teething refers to the process of eruption of new teeth in an infant. The process often follows hereditary patterns. On average, the first tooth comes in during the 6–7 months, although it can develop as early as 3 months or as late as 12 months.

In total, there are 20 primary teeth and most children have a full set of primary teeth by the age of 2 or 3 years.  These teeth usually last until about the age of 6 years, when the teeth become loose and fall out, and replaced by a new set of teeth. 

The primary teeth continue falling out until around the age of 12 years.  

Signs of teething may include the following:

  • Irritability
  • Drooling
  • Chewing of objects
  • Bruises/swelling in gums
  • Diarrhea
  • Low grade fever
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Poor sleep

In cases where the infant is in obvious pain, the use of anti-inflammatory or child-safe pain-relief medications is recommended.

Some infants may get relief from chewing on water filled and chilled rubber teething toys.

Most dentists recommend brushing infants’ teeth as soon as they appear. 

Written by: Healthplus24 team
Date last updated: December 12, 2008

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