All babies are different — some are born with teeth and in others teeth push out very early -- but by nine months your baby is usually sporting a tooth or several, as he/she starts the process towards becoming a toddler.
Teething will take your child about three years to complete. The first tooth comes at an average six months and for many babies, come with teething pains.
Here is what to look out for:
*Early symptoms can include heavy drooling and a fair amount of pain that precede the first tooth. Many parents will notice fevers, diarrhoea, rashes and unsoothable crying that precede the event.
* You'll notice that your baby will start biting any and everything, so this will be the time to introduce the teething rings.
* Your baby may get a red rash on the chin and lower lip from all the drooling. Smoothing petroleum jelly on the chin at bedtime will help to protect her skin from further irritation.
*The process does hurt. As your baby's teeth develop, they push up through the gums, a process which can cause irritation, pain and swelling.
* While pressure from biting seems to relieve the pain, sucking causes more blood to rush to the swollen areas, making them particularly sensitive. This is why some babies may temporarily reject the breast or bottle when they are teething.
You can try several options and see which your baby likes. Some babies are soothed by simply rubbing your fingers over their gums, while others rely on teething rings.
If it is really hot, you can try freezing teething rings or rags, which you can then offer to the baby to chew on.
It may be too early to brush, but with the first teeth comes the need to practise good dental hygiene. Wipe the baby's gums and teeth with a clean cloth. Also, never put your baby to bed with a bottle, as formula can pool in your baby's mouth at night and lead to a condition known as baby-bottle tooth decay.
Your baby's first toothbrush should have soft bristles and a small head which allows it to reach all parts of his mouth easily and comfortably.
Beware: Early tooth loss
Most children begin losing baby teeth naturally when they are around six years old, some even earlier. Unfortunately, there are times when a child's tooth will be knocked out accidentally whether by a fall or a hard blow. Then there are those who will suffer tooth decay because of lack of proper care resulting in the tooth being removed by a dentist.
So what should you do when confronted by premature tooth loss?
Dr Annette Kidd said parents need not worry about the loss, as it will be replaced by a permanent one between ages six and seven.
"If the child has lost a tooth before it's time for them to change, you just have to wait until the permanent one comes out," she said.
If, however, the child has his permanent teeth and loses one, it will not grow back, the dentist said.
"What we can do is make them a little tooth denture that will fit right into the space," Dr Kidd said.
She explained that if the tooth is knocked out from the root parents should put the tooth in milk and immediately rush the child to the dentist who should be able to put it back in place.
It is important, however, that they do not scrub the tooth to rid if of any dirt as they may remove important tissue fragments and roots.
Some dentists recommend inserting the tooth back in the socket and holding it there, then going immediately to the dentist's office.
If the child's tooth is broken from a fall or hard blow, it can be repaired.
Model: Kailey-Jae Stewart.