The appearance of your baby’s first tooth is a major milestone and an exciting moment, but it also means you might have some sleepless nights ahead of you; here’s what to expect while your baby is teething.

How to tell when the first tooth is on it’s way:

There are usually some signs that a tooth is on its way. These signs can include an increase in salivation or drooling, an intensified tendency for your baby to bite down on toys, or flushed cheeks and swollen gums, coupled with a general feeling of irritability.

Many parents mention that teething is often accompanied by other problems such as an upset stomach or colds. Most medical experts, however, say that there is no real connection, and that young children are more or less constantly fighting off one bug or another. Any signs of illness appearing together with teething are likely unrelated.

When do babies typically begin teething?

Teething generally starts at around 6 months, although as with all things related to babies- your own experience may vary. Sometimes babies will be born sporting a tooth or two, while some may not see their first tooth until their first birthday or later. Whenever it starts, your baby will normally have a complete set of teeth by their third birthday. These baby teeth will last until around the age of six, until they start to be replaced by adult teeth.

Alleviating the discomfort while your baby is teething:

Although some infants sail through the whole teething process with little difficulty, for others it can be an ordeal. As parents, although we can’t do anything to speed the growth, there are ways to help relieve the discomfort.

Rubber Biting Ring: The most traditional remedy for teething pain is a rubber biting ring, which is a safe outlet that works with your baby’s natural inclination to bite down on things. Keeping the ring in the refrigerator will also provide a cooling sensation. Make sure the teething ring you choose is BPA-Free so that there isn’t any harmful interference with your baby’s endocrine function or natural hormone production.

Teething Gel: Another helpful way to relieve some discomfort is applying teething gel to the gums. Teething gel can also be applied to a pacifier or teething ring- which might be helpful for the parent to avoid baby’s natural biting reflex!

Teething powders: Teething powders are also an option. Teething powders are used by adding a small amount (varies by brand) of the powder into lukewarm water and either using a dropper or rubbing directly on the gums.

Teething Biscuits: If your baby is teething, but you’re also ready to begin introducing solid food, teething biscuits might be a great way to make the transition. Typically made with neutral ingredients like rice or potato starch, they’re easy to bite and chew on. A personal recommendation is Baby Mum Mum Rice Rusks, which are free of the ten most common allergens and Certified Organic.

The arrival of baby’s first tooth doesn’t always go smoothly. It can be a testing time for you- the parents, and your baby, as there will inevitably be some discomfort involved. Hopefully your baby will not have too much difficulty developing a healthy and toothy grin. If teething time for your baby is tough, just remember that it doesn’t last forever, and keep counting the teeth as they arrive!