When Do Babies Start Teething: Everything You Need to Know

by Mark Jacobovits

When Do Babies Start Teething: Everything You Need to Know

Teething is a natural and exciting process that happens when your baby's first teeth start to emerge from the gums. It is also a source of curiosity and concern for many parents, who wonder when it will happen, how long it will last, and how to help their baby cope with the discomfort.

In this blog post, we will answer some of the most common questions about teething and give you some tips and tricks to make it easier for you and your baby.

When Do Babies Start Teething?

There is no definitive answer to this question, as every baby is different, and the timing of teething can vary widely. However, most babies will start teething around 6 months of age, which is when their first teeth, usually the bottom front ones, begin to break through the gums.

The age range can be quite broad, so don't worry if your baby's teeth come in sooner or later than other babies. The most important thing is to monitor your baby's oral health and consult your pediatrician or dentist if you have any concerns.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Teething?

Teething can cause some discomfort and irritation for your baby, and you might notice some changes in their behavior and mood. Some of the common signs and symptoms of teething are:

  • Drooling. Your baby might produce more saliva than usual, which can cause them to drool a lot. This can also lead to a rash on their chin, cheeks, or chest, as the saliva can irritate their skin.
  • Chewing. Your baby might try to relieve the pressure and pain in their gums by chewing on different objects, such as their fingers, toys, pacifiers, or anything they can get their hands on. Make sure to provide them with safe and clean items to chew on, and avoid anything that could break, choke, or harm them.
  • Irritability and fussiness. Your baby might be crankier and more restless than usual, especially at night, as the teething pain can interfere with their sleep. They might also cry more often and have trouble settling down.
  • Refusing to eat. Your baby might lose their appetite or reject their usual food, as eating can make their gums sorer. They might prefer cold or soft foods, such as yogurt, applesauce, or chilled fruit puree, which can soothe their gums.
  • Swollen, red, or tender gums. You might see or feel a small bump or swelling on your baby's gums, where the tooth is about to come out. The gums might also look red or inflamed, and feel warm or tender to the touch.
  • Slightly elevated temperature. Your baby might have a low-grade fever, around 99°F (37.2°C), due to the inflammation in their gums. However, a high fever, above 100.4°F (38°C), is not a normal sign of teething, and could indicate an infection or illness. If your baby has a high fever, vomiting, diarrhea, or other symptoms, you should contact your pediatrician right away.

How to Soothe Your Teething Baby?

Teething can be a tough time for both you and your baby, but there are some things you can do to ease their discomfort and make them feel better. Here are some suggestions:

  • Massage their gums. You can gently rub your baby's gums with your clean finger or a moistened gauze pad, which can provide some relief and comfort. You can also use a soft-bristled toothbrush to massage their gums and clean their teeth.
  • Give them something to chew on. You can offer your baby a teething ring, a teething toy, or a wet washcloth that has been chilled in the refrigerator. Make sure the item is not too hard, too cold, or too small, and that you supervise your baby while they are using it. Avoid giving them frozen items, such as ice cubes or popsicles, which can damage their gums and teeth. Also, avoid giving them teething biscuits, crackers, or other foods that contain sugar, which can cause tooth decay.
  • Apply a cold compress. You can use a cold spoon, a cold-water bottle, or a cold cloth to apply some gentle pressure and coolness to your baby's gums. This can help reduce the swelling and inflammation and numb the pain. Do not apply ice directly to your baby's gums, as this can cause frostbite.
  • Use medication with caution. You can give your baby some over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, to help them cope with the teething pain. However, you should always follow the dosage instructions on the label and consult your pediatrician before giving any medication to your baby. Do not give your baby aspirin, which can cause a serious condition called Reye's syndrome. Also, do not use any topical numbing agents, such as benzocaine or lidocaine, which can be harmful or even fatal for your baby.
  • Distract and comfort them. You can try to take your baby's mind off the teething pain by playing with them, reading to them, singing to them, or cuddling with them. You can also use a pacifier, a blanket, a stuffed animal, or any other item that your baby finds soothing and calming. You can also breastfeed or bottle-feed your baby more often, as sucking can help relieve the pressure in their gums.

How to Care for Your Baby's New Teeth?

Once your baby's teeth start to come in, you should start taking care of them right away.

Here are some tips on how to keep your baby's teeth healthy and strong:

  • Brush their teeth twice a day. You should use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a small amount of fluoride toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice, to gently brush your baby's teeth and gums. You should do this in the morning and at night, or after each meal or snack. You should also replace the toothbrush every three months, or sooner if it is worn or frayed.
  • Floss their teeth once a day. You should use a thin piece of dental floss or a flosser to clean between your baby's teeth, where plaque and bacteria can accumulate. You should do this once a day, preferably at night, or as soon as your baby has two teeth that touch each other.
  • Limit their sugar intake. You should avoid giving your baby foods and drinks that contain a lot of sugar, such as candy, cookies, juice, soda, or sports drinks, which can cause tooth decay and cavities. You should also avoid putting your baby to bed with a bottle of milk, formula, or juice, which can pool in their mouth and erode their enamel. If your baby needs a bottle at night, fill it with plain water instead.
  • Visit the dentist regularly. You should take your baby to the dentist for their first checkup when their first tooth appears, or by their first birthday, whichever comes first. You should then take them for regular dental visits every six months, or as recommended by your dentist. The dentist will examine your baby's teeth and gums, clean their teeth, apply fluoride or sealants if needed, and give you advice on how to prevent and treat any dental problems.

When to See Your Baby's Healthcare Provider?

Teething is a normal and harmless process that does not require any medical intervention. However, you should contact your baby's healthcare provider if you notice any of the following signs or symptoms.

  • Your baby has a high fever, above 100.4°F (38°C), or other signs of infection or illness, such as vomiting, diarrhea, rash, or lethargy.
  • Your baby has severe or persistent pain, swelling, bleeding, or pus in their gums or mouth, which could indicate a tooth abscess or an injury.
  • Your baby has difficulty breathing, swallowing, or eating, which could indicate an allergic reaction, or a foreign object stuck in their throat.
  • Your baby has no teeth by their first birthday, or has an abnormal number, shape, or position of their teeth, which could indicate a developmental or genetic disorder.

Interesting Facts About Baby Teeth

Here are some fun and fascinating facts about baby teeth that you might not know:

  • Baby teeth are also known as primary teeth, deciduous teeth, or milk teeth. They are temporary and will eventually fall out and be replaced by permanent teeth, also known as secondary teeth or adult teeth.
  • Baby teeth are important for your baby's health and development. They help your baby chew, speak, and smile. They also hold the space for the permanent teeth and guide them into the right position.
  • Baby teeth have thinner enamel and dentin than permanent teeth, which makes them more prone to decay and cavities. They also have large pulp chambers and nerve endings, which makes them more sensitive to pain and infection.
  • Baby teeth start to form in the womb, as early as the sixth week of pregnancy. By the time your baby is born, they have 20 baby teeth hidden in their gums, waiting to erupt.
  • Baby teeth usually erupt in pairs, one on each side of the mouth, and in a symmetrical pattern. The order of eruption is usually: bottom front teeth, top front teeth, top lateral incisors, bottom lateral incisors, first molars, canines, and second molars.
  • Baby teeth usually fall out in the same order that they came in, starting from around 6 or 7 years.


Teething is a natural and exciting process that happens when your baby's first teeth start to emerge from the gums. It can also cause some discomfort and irritation for your baby, and some worry and confusion for you. In this blog post, we have answered some of the most common questions about teething and given you some tips and tricks to make it easier for you and your baby.

We hope that this blog post has helped you learn more about teething and how to care for your baby's new teeth. How about you? When did your baby start teething? What were the signs and symptoms? How did you soothe your teething baby? Share your stories and experiences with us in the comments below. We would love to hear from you!

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