What is teething?
When does teething typically start?
Teething usually begins around 6 months of age. But it is normal for teething to start at any time between 3 months and 12 months of age. By the time your child is about 3 years old, he or she will have all 20 primary teeth.
The lower front teeth usually come in first. Upper front teeth usually come in 1 to 2 months after the lower front teeth. See a picture that shows Reference when the primary teeth come in Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window.
What are the symptoms?
Some babies are fussier than usual when they are teething. This may be because of soreness and swelling in the gums before a tooth comes through. These symptoms usually begin about 3 to 5 days before the tooth shows, and they disappear as soon as the tooth breaks the skin. Many babies don't seem to be affected by teething.
Babies may bite on their fingers or toys to help relieve the pressure in their gums. They may also refuse to eat and drink because their mouths hurt.
Many babies drool during teething, which can cause a rash on the chin, face, or chest.
Mild symptoms that get better usually are nothing to worry about. Call your doctor if your baby’s symptoms are severe or don't get better.
How can you help your baby be more comfortable while teething?
Here are some tips to help your baby feel better while teething:
- Give your baby a mild pain reliever that is labeled for his or her specific age. For example, acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) or ibuprofen (such as Advil) may help relieve your baby's discomfort. Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than 20, because it has been linked to Reference Reye syndrome Opens New Window, a rare but serious disease.
- Use a clean finger (or cold teething ring) to gently rub your baby's gum for about 2 minutes at a time. Many babies find this soothing, although they may protest at first.
- Provide safe objects for your baby to chew on, such as teething rings.
Many parents use other teething remedies, such as gels you put on a baby’s gums. Many experts question if these work and are safe. If you want to try these products, talk to your doctor about which types are safe and how often to use them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Learning about teething:
Knowing what to expect:
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference June 20, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
Reference Thomas Emmett Francoeur, MD, MDCM, CSPQ, FRCPC - Pediatrics