Teething tips

Useful advice on teething, with information on the development of baby teeth, common symptoms, problems and teething relief.
Even whilst your baby is growing inside you the first teeth are forming under the gums. Teeth are important for chewing food, talking, positioning teeth for straight and healthy growth and producing a warm smile.

Teething is the process of your baby's teeth appearing either individually or in pairs. Generally speaking, teething begins around six months, and will continue until your baby is about three years old. However in some healthy babies, the first tooth appears in the third month; in others, it does not emerge until the baby is a year old.

Usually, the front teeth appear during the first year; the first and second molars appear between ages one and three. Teeth usually appear sooner in girls than in boys. Teething patterns tend to be hereditary, so knowing when you and your spouse began to cut your teeth may provide some clues. Your child's physical and mental development has no connection with when he or she cuts their first teeth.

Baby teeth usually emerge in pairs; first come the two lower central incisors, the two remaining lower incisors, the first molars, the four-pointed canines, and, finally, the four two-year molars. Expect twenty teeth by your child's third birthday.

Teething (or "cutting teeth") often causes discomfort, restlessness and irritability. As the roots of the teeth grow, they push the edges of the teeth through the gums. The effects are usually most dramatic with the first teeth, because the sensation is new to the baby, and with molars, due to their large size.

Signs of teething include:
  • Increased fussiness, night-time crying and "clingy" behaviour.
  • Excessive dribbling.
  • Chewing on fingers, teething rings, and other objects.
  • Swollen, red, inflamed gums.
  • Increased demand in breast or bottle-feeding.
  • Rejection of breast or bottle because sucking hurts gums.
  • Poor appetite.
  • Interrupted sleep.
If your baby is more than four months old, is crying more than usual and shows signs of teething, you could try a baby teething gel which cools the gums and provides temporary relief. A baby will usually respond to comfort and distraction, in the form of cuddling, rocking or changing scenery.

It is important to distinguish between normal teething discomfort and the aches and pains of an illness. Fever, diarrhoea and vomiting are almost always illness-related. Irritability, ear tugging and sleeplessness are most difficult, they could just be teething related or a symptom of something more serious.

Teething has not been shown to cause illness. It is normal for a baby to have up to a dozen separate illnesses in its first year. Teething will often overlap periods of illness, but doesn't cause the other.

If after twelve months no teeth have appeared, consult with a dentist or physician. This could be a harmless, inherited, late-teething situation, or it might require further examination by your doctor.

Suggestions for alleviating some of the pain your baby may experience whilst teething:
  • When dribbling is excessive, give your baby plenty of water or diluted juice to replenish fluids.
  • For babies older than four months try a baby teething gel spread across the gums.
  • Try distracting your baby with plenty of hugs or something to play with. Alternatively provide a change of scenery to distract from the pain.
  • In some instances your doctor may recommend infant pain relievers like paracetamol or ibuprofen. Follow your doctor's direction and never give a baby aspirin.
  • Never apply alcohol in any form to baby's gums. For babies alcohol can be a dangerous poison.

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hi i have a 11months 2 weeks baby girl she has been teething with pairs, and she doesnt have much sleep at night and keeps on crying and doesnt want to eat i just cant seem to cope i am hurting too when she`s like this what should i give her which can make her feel better and eat nomally
by mageba 20th Jun 2013, 3:01pm
hi my 5 month old baby is showing all the signs of teething and she had 2 slits at the bottom on her gums but they have gone now and still no teeth can any 1 tell me y the slits have gone or as it happend to ur baby and how long did it take for them to come through thanks
by nikola100 13th Jul 2011, 10:05am
hi may baby girl is 9 months old she doesn't want to eat when we force her she will vommit after the last spoon. i dont know or is because of teething but her temparature is ok and she is playing very well
by khumo 26th Nov 2010, 5:10pm
My baby was vomiting after breastfeeding last nite. Could it be because of teething because she at times bites my nipples when breastfeeding. the body temprature is ok
by Venencia 16th Sep 2010, 11:38am
My girl baby is 14 months old and she has no teeth still now, can any one explain why its is ? or i can wait for some more month ?
by Pandu 13th Sep 2010, 9:54am
my son above 13 months and only he has two teeth.what is a right medicine for my son
by goavasco 1st Sep 2010, 10:06am
My beautiful little girl is 9 months old on the 24th june and she has been teething for the last 2 months at first it was just the red cheeks but then we had the constant screaming no sleep and very bad nappies. We tried all the soothing rings and bonjela even homemade suger free ice lollys. The only thing i found that helped was a product called ambesol it is a liquid rather than a gel so it does not slip off the gums, with a small dose of calpol just before bed. For 6 weeks straight she would wake up screamig and would not go back in her cot so either me or my partner would get in the single bed and gently rub her back i found this relaxed her and helped her sleep. We are now all back in our own beds and amelia has since cut 2 teeth with half the hassle.
by Ameliasmummy 12th Aug 2010, 9:39am
hi my boy is 3 mths old today and i think hes teething, up the bk left of his moth could this be a tooth?
by watkins01 12th Aug 2010, 9:10am
my son was 5 weeks old when his first 2 teeth started to come through! there is nothing we can give him for it as all the teething stuff are 3 months plus, we did however find teething gel that can be used from birth, but no teething rings or anything, they seem to have stopped giving him trouble now, hopefully he wont get any more until hes a bit older, i hate watching him in pain at such a young age! he is now 6 weeks and 3 days xx
by Mazey 11th Aug 2010, 5:26pm
my son is now 14months,his little molars are peeking out..he's rather irritable,and clingy,loves to be carried..he's 15kgs!!!i twisted my wrist lifting him up...but he's a gorgeous blessing.
by mamawarren 11th Jun 2010, 5:37pm
My son is 19 weeks old, am finding him hard to settle hes really upset and unsettled along with dribbling lots and having really bad nappies, hes also go a bright red face. ive tried a dummy, soothing gel but its not working any advice??????
by HAYCHR 14th May 2010, 4:17pm
My baby is 5months old, she started teething at 11 weeks but still no teeth!!! in the last 3 weeks she has been dirtying her nappy after every feed and sometimes whilst I am feeding her. Her poos are so explosive that I am having to change her clothes 3-4x a day!! Is anyone else going through this???
by waddlingqueen 14th May 2010, 3:37pm
my son is almost 7weeks old and seems to be teething :( i dont know what to do as he just licks the from birth teething ring i bought...
by Pansy 14th May 2010, 3:27pm
My son cut his two lower teeth at 10 weeks old, i had a feeling he was teething due to rosey cheeks, and the urge to ram his fists into his mouth, all i gave him was some teething powder to help him along, another sigh is strong urine.
by loz1967 27th Jan 2010, 9:27am
My twin 4 month old girls both dribble like a leaking tap, and have done so for the past 6 weeks....is this a sign of teething? They both gnash on thei fingers regularly & Sarina tends to be a bit more grouchy, especially in the afternoon/evening when distraction no longer works! Be great to know if they are truly teething so that I can treat them accordingly...any advice?
by BIGDEV 26th Nov 2009, 9:43am
My first child was 4 months old when his first tooth had appeared! He must have been teething when he was only a couple of months old. I now have a 2 months old baby boy (after 7 years) and I think he is teething. He's very 'clingy', cries for no reason but only now and then, dribbles and on and off with taking the bottle and prefers the breast milk. I've recently introduced a dummy which he tends to just suck on but becomes restless after a while.
With him being only 8 weeks can I use any gels as I never used anything for my first child.. He took me by surprise as I wasn't expecting he to start so early!
by Ashia 23rd Nov 2009, 10:21am
I've never heard of this, however, my 12 week old son has been going through this as well for the past two weeks. We just assumed he was an earlier teether because my brother was born with teeth. Only time will tell for sure.
by AUNTSUZ 26th Oct 2009, 12:50pm
i think my 15wk old is startin to teeth she cries more on evenings and constantly dribbles and tryin to put everthing in her mouth
by EMM4SCARLETT 28th Sep 2009, 9:33am

Last night I searched the internet for advise as our 10 week old boy has started to dribble a lot more than usual in the past week. Firstly my wife and I thought it was more than likely a reaction to the immunisation shots he had earlier in the week as he has also been a little grumpy.

I have read on this site that a few other parents have experienced the same or similar problem and have been advised by others that this could probably be a symptom of early teething.

Though this advise was posted some time ago, I thought I'd write the advise I have been given in case another new parent has search the internet with the same issue!.....

I called NHS helpline in the early hours of this morning, so I can't exactly recall what the doctor said due to the lack of sleep (!)...But she told me that this could be because around this time a baby's digestive system is starting to mature and therefore more saliva is produced than usual (or something around those lines!).

Anyone else heard of this??
by AndyW 18th Aug 2009, 9:18am
My daughter has only just recently got her first two teeth (in the past 10 days) - and she is now 14 months old. She had been teething for about 9 months - all the symptoms had been there except for the teeth themselves.
Right now having a real problem with getting her to feed sufficiently. She is of a low weight for her age already - and not being able to feed her enough is not allowing her to gain more weight (if anything she is loosing a bit).
She essentially chooses what she wants to eat and when - as she will clearly indicate if she does not want to eat or drink. We keep persevering throughout the day, constantly trying to get her to eat food or take another bottle, but is there anything anyone can suggest ? We try different fruits & vegetables. The milk bottles are tried cold, tepid and warm - to see if she wants a particular temperature. We do use products like "Bonjela" and "SM-33" as well as Panadol and Nurofen (only when neccessary) - but the latest strategy we have is for her to eat what we are eating (without any spices as much as possible).
Still quite concerned, as we still dont feel she is eating enough.
Anyone have any other suggestions ?
by AussieWoodsy 23rd Jul 2009, 9:08am
My daughter started teething now at 10 months, and she is Very fast, within two weeks she was having 4. there was no sign thatshe is teething.
by Confidence 1st Jun 2009, 9:08am
my so njames already has his first tooth(:... but he crys all the time but when his dad comes he calms down...am doing something wrong?
by jaimet 16th Apr 2009, 9:18am
My daughter has been teething on and off since she was about 11 weeks! she is now 24 weeks and there is no sign of any gnashers yet!! I use Ashton&Parsons teething powders, and they are great!! They are herbal too, and they settle her stomach as calm her down. Hopefully the teeth will appear very soon!!!!
by sarkitty 3rd Apr 2009, 9:09am
my baby girl was teething from 3 weeks! my h/v did not believe me tho.on her 6 wk check up the doctor also didn't believe me when i asked what would be best pain relief- that was until she felt her gums! 7 teeth cutting. you can imagine the h/v didnt like being proven wrong!!!my little one has been a little angel tho. i have used some of these to sooth her
1. put a dummy in the fridge or freezer- it cools the gums and she loves it
2. put a clean cloth into the freezer and let them chew on it
dentinox is good but i didnt think it lasted long- i mean using it up to every 20mins seems excessive
so i found nelsons teething powders or capsules.they are homeopathic, so not putting chemicals into their wee mouths.
its a hard time for baby and worse for mummy watching(i hope)
good luck!
by mummyamanda 25th Feb 2009, 9:26am
my son is nearly 5 months now, he had all the symptoms of teething so I bought some bonjela which didn't work. after a couple of nights with no sleep at all a friend recommended Dentinox teething gel, which you can use every twenty minutes and it's actually worked!
by ellenc 19th Feb 2009, 10:17am
my 5month old Alfie Ray has had a cough ever since he was 4 weeks three lots of antibiotics later he still has the cough but the whole time to small teeth have been visible through his gums,his chest is bad as well with the cough so he has been given a reliever pump - he has even had 3 weeks of medicine for paraputusis (a form of whooping cough) which he never had.i feel the gp doesnt take it seriously.the other day his two little teeth broke through the gum and i had the first couple of hours sleep since he was born.is it possible all of these symptoms could be TEETHING?????
by rachelrees40 17th Feb 2009, 9:44am
I think my baby is teething, my older is 5 so i have forgotten this stage ...how painful is, he seems to be very clingy but my shoulders are killing me..he is getting too heavy, thanks for the sound advise.
by Belilla 5th Feb 2009, 9:58am
i use viburcol drops you can get them in the health shop they are very good to settle crying baby and are suitable from birth great for when you not sure whats up with baby
by sp70 3rd Dec 2008, 8:02am
my son will be 3 months old on oct 30, and im quite sure hes teething. and its hard. he wont stop crying sometimes and wont take the bottle or have anyone else hold him but me.. and im getting scared and feeling overwhelmed.. i just wannt his pain to go away. what do I do???
by lisamarie1807 27th Oct 2008, 9:00am
hi my son is 4mths and he as been teething since he was 8wks old
by mommykins03 22nd Oct 2008, 11:04am
i'm seeing signs of teething, and my son is only 3mnths. is there anyone else in this situation
by teedee 20th Oct 2008, 10:56am
my baby girl of 9 months keeps waking up in the middle of the night with screaming fits how can i help her , i have differant remedies like the oil that rubs on her gums, and bonjella and i also give her things to chew on. she has been teething for the past 5 months.
by mummykirsty 14th Apr 2008, 8:43am
my baby is nine months old and doesnt have any teeth yet, however he had to go to hospital last night as his temp went up to 39 and wouldnt come down even with meds, all bloods came back okay so must be teeth comming up he is still sick and wont eat or drink any tips on how to give him relief, trying teetha, capol, and neurofin. he cant even take his dummy. any advice
by cat26 10th Jul 2007, 8:45am
my baby started teething 3-4 weeks old and the only thing i could find was bongela, and you can't give them that untill they are a few months old. but i found a teething gel called dentinox and it has worked wonder. plus the good thing with this one is that you can apply it every 20mins, but with bongela its something like every 3 hours. by that time its worn off.
by firsttimemummy 30th May 2007, 5:25pm
teething can cause a babys temperature to rise,so its important to keep this in check as it may to lead to fitting.
by m1 15th Nov 2006, 9:54am