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When does teething begin in babies: When Do Babies Start Teething? Signs & Remedies

When Do Babies Start Teething? Signs & Remedies

Snap as many pictures of baby’s adorable gummy grin while you still can. Those little teeth will crop up in the blink of an eye—and you’ll sure know when it happens. Teething can be pretty uncomfortable for babies, and they’ll express it the only way they know how—by fussing and crying and not sleeping.

If baby is showing signs of fussiness, you may start wondering if the time for teething has arrived. So when do babies start teething? The truth is, every baby is unique. Still, there’s a general time frame—plus a few important things that all parents should know to make the process easier.

In this article:
When do babies start teething
What a baby teething chart can tell you
How to tell if baby is teething
How long does teething last?
How to soothe baby teething pain
When to call the doctor about infant teething

When Do Babies Start Teething?

Babies usually start getting their primary teeth between 3 and 6 months old, says Mark S. Wolff, DDS, PhD, a professor of cariology and comprehensive care at the New York University College of Dentistry in New York City. But it’s quite possible that it could happen later too. In fact, some babies may not get their first teeth until as late as a year old, says Whitney Schutzbank, MD, MPH, a pediatrician at the MassGeneral Hospital for Children in Boston.

Genetics play a significant role in determining teething age, says Jeffrey Bourne, MD, a pediatrician at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California. “It tends to run in families,” he says. “Some families have teeth that come in early, some not until later.”

What is late teething?

Babies are considered late teethers when they reach their first birthday and still have no teeth, Schutzbank says. If your little one is 12 months old and you’ve yet to see any signs of teething, give your pediatrician a call. They can assess the situation during your child’s well visit and may suggest a mouth X-ray if there’s any concern.

What a Baby Teething Chart Can Tell You

When do babies start teething? It’s hard to know exactly, but the order in which baby’s 20 teeth will come in (or “erupt,” in dental lingo) is pretty predictable. As you see from the chart below, the first teeth to break through baby’s soft gums are the middle teeth (central incisors)—you’ll notice the two bottom ones first, followed closely by the two top ones. The next to crop up are the adjacent teeth, and the process continues to work its way toward the back of the mouth, with the molars surfacing last. Baby’s gums are ingeniously rigged so both the upper and lower teeth come in right and left pairs. “The order supports tooth and jaw growth and helps provide for straight teeth,” Wolff says.

Want to keep track of baby’s progress? Print out our handy teething chart.

How to Tell If Baby Is Teething

During the teething process, the tooth pushes up through the bone and then the gumline. It’s no wonder it hurts! So the answer to “when do babies start teething?” for your child is most likely when you start spotting a combination of the telltale signs of teething. When babies start teething, they may have the following symptoms:

  • crying
  • drooling
  • low-grade fever under 101 degrees F
  • trouble sleeping
  • swollen gums
  • loss of appetite

For more details, check out our post on teething symptoms and remedies.

How Long Does Teething Last?

There’s no clear-cut answer to this question, just as there isn’t one for the question “when do babies start teething?” But in general, babies will grow new teeth every four to six months, and they’ll usually have their complete set of baby teeth by around 24 months, Wolff says.

How long does teething pain last?

Good news! Not 24 straight months, even though it takes that long for all the teeth to come in. That’s because the pain flares up only when the teeth are actually breaking through the gums, and it subsides between episodes. So the severe symptoms usually last just a few days, Schutzbank says. What’s more, children tend to get used to the process over time, according to Bourne. While the symptoms are obvious with the first tooth or two, they become milder as baby’s mouth fills in.

How to Soothe Baby Teething Pain

Teething can be uncomfortable for baby, so you’ll want to have some tricks up your sleeve for helping to ease that discomfort as much as you can. If baby seems to be experiencing signs of teething, try some of the easy, reliable at-home remedies below.

Gum massage: Often, babies find the most relief from gentle pressure on their sore gums, which is why you’ll find them gnawing on anything they can get in their mouths. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), a safe way to provide light pressure on the gums is to give baby a gum massage. With clean hands, use your finger or knuckle to rub the sore spots in baby’s mouth. Repeat as often as necessary.

Teethers: Babies old enough to navigate a teether in their hands and mouths may enjoy using a teether to put pressure on their gums themselves. Offer a teething ring, pacifier or clean, wet washcloth for baby to chew on. “I like these remedies as they have no side effects and are quite effective,” Schutzbank says.

Cold: Cold can help ease discomfort too, but don’t give baby ice or teething rings that have been frozen solid; according to the AAP, it’s too hard on baby’s gums. Instead, try putting a teething toy or clean, wet washcloth in the fridge before giving it to baby.

Something to suck on: “Some children like the feeling of sucking when teething,” Schutzbank says. You can try offering a pacifier, baby bottle or a breastfeeding session when infant teething pain is making baby cranky.

Pain medication: If you’ve already tried the previous soothing methods and baby still seems extremely uncomfortable, you can try over-the-counter pain medication like acetaminophen (Tylenol) as a last resort, Schutzbank says. Ibuprofen is another choice, but should only be given to babies over 6 months.

What not to use for infant teething pain

Well-meaning friends and loved ones may have a variety of suggestions for how to soothe infant teething pain—but some of them may not in fact be safe for baby. Do not use any of the following for teething pain:

Aspirin: This medication should never be given to babies or children as it can cause Reye’s Syndrome.

Teething gel: Teething gel is not FDA-approved for infant teething, since it offers little to no benefit but can come with serious risks. “I avoid numbing gels as they can numb baby’s throat and lead to choking or aspiration of liquids into the lungs,” Schutzbank says. Plus, numbing gels can contain benzocaine, which can lead to a serious and sometimes fatal condition called methemoglobinemia, in which not enough oxygen is delivered to baby’s cells.

Homeopathic teething tablets: These teething tablets are also not FDA-approved and often contain potentially dangerous ingredients, Schutzbank says.

Teething jewelry: Amber teething necklaces and other jewelry can pose a choking or strangulation hazard to baby, which is why the FDA and APP strongly advise against using them.

When to Call the Doctor About Infant Teething

They may not be super pleasant for baby, but signs of teething are usually nothing to be concerned about. However, there are some situations in which you might want to call your pediatrician for infant teething. Call the doctor if:

  • Baby’s temperature rises above 100℉
  • Baby’s low-grade fever lasts longer than two days
  • Baby has diarrhea
  • Baby won’t eat or drink

The general rule of thumb is that if baby seems unusually uncomfortable, is acting sick or has signs of teething that can’t be soothed, it’s a good idea to call the pediatrician. Your little one may have an illness or infection that needs to be treated. If you think baby needs to be seen, trust yourself and call the doctor.

About the experts:

Mark S. Wolff, DDS, PhD, is a professor of cariology and comprehensive care at the New York University College of Dentistry in New York City. He received his doctor of dental surgery degree and PhD in oral biology and pathology from Stony Brook University. Before joining the NYU College of Dentistry in 2005, he served as associate dean at Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine.

Whitney Schutzbank, MD, MPH, is a pediatrician at the MassGeneral Hospital for Children in Boston. Her clinical interests lie in newborn medicine and nutrition. She earned both her medical degree and master’s of public health degree from Tulane University School of Medicine.

Jeffrey Bourne, MD, FAAP, is a pediatrician at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, and has been practicing for more than 20 years. He earned his medical degree from the University of Washington and is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

Plus, more from The Bump:

Teething Symptoms and Remedies: What You Need to Know

Safe Teething Necklaces Parents Can Wear to Soothe Baby’s Gums

The Truth About the Safety of Amber Teething Necklaces

When do babies start teething? Timeline, signs, and more

Newborns typically have 20 baby teeth concealed below the gumline. Teething is the process of these teeth erupting through the gums.

Teething usually begins about halfway through the first year of life. Different teeth erupt at different rates, with the front teeth tending to emerge first.

During teething, a baby may feel pain and discomfort, and they can show this in various ways.

In this article, we give a general timeline for the eruption of baby teeth. We also describe signs of teething and provide tips on easing any pain and discomfort.

Share on PinterestGnawing or biting on objects can be a sign that a baby is starting teething.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), baby teeth tend to appear within the first 6–8 months of life.

The first teeth to erupt are usually the front teeth at the top or bottom of the mouth. Dentists refer to these teeth as the incisors. The rate and order in which the other teeth appear can differ from one baby to another.

The ADA provide the following timeline of the usual ages at which baby teeth emerge:

  • lower central incisors (the bottom front two teeth): 6–10 months
  • upper central incisors (the top front two teeth): 8–12 months
  • upper lateral incisors (at either side of the central incisors): 9–13 months
  • lower lateral incisors (at either side of the central incisors): 10–16 months
  • upper first molars (behind the upper canines): 13–19 months
  • lower first molars (behind the lower canines): 14–18 months
  • upper canines: 16–22 months
  • lower canines: 17–23 months
  • lower second molars: 23–31 months
  • upper second molars: 25–33 months

If there is no sign of any teeth appearing at about 6 or 7 months of age, this is usually no cause for concern, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

By the baby’s first birthday, they should see a dentist, whether or not they have teeth yet.

The enamel coating on baby teeth is thinner than that on adult teeth, and so it is more prone to cavities. For this reason, routine dental checkups are important for babies.

There are several indications that a baby is teething, including:

  • increased irritability
  • increased crying
  • drooling
  • a rash around the mouth, neck, or chest, caused by drooling
  • gnawing or biting on objects
  • cheek rubbing
  • ear pulling
  • a slight elevation in temperature, but not a fever

At about 6 months of age, when teething usually begins, a baby’s immune system is starting to develop, and the antibodies received from the placenta are wearing off. During this time, babies start developing colds and other viral illnesses.

It can be easy to mistake symptoms of a minor cold — such as a fever, a runny nose, fussiness, or poor appetite — for symptoms of teething.

Also, many babies put things in their mouths, drool more, and bite or chew on objects when they are this age, whether or not they are teething.

A parent or caregiver can take some steps to ease discomfort during teething and prevent issues such as a rash developing on the face or neck.

A person might try:

  • providing a rubber teething ring to satisfy the urge to bite or chew
  • rubbing the gums for a few minutes at a time to help prevent cheek-rubbing and ear-pulling
  • applying a barrier cream or moisturizing ointment to the cheeks to help prevent a rash
  • keeping the area around the mouth, cheeks, and neck as clean and dry as possible to prevent skin irritation
  • spending more time comforting the baby, for example by holding them for longer periods during the day
  • providing a safe dosage of a pain medication suitable for infants

Some approaches to teething can be dangerous for babies. Parents and caregivers should avoid:

Freezable teething rings

These tend to become very hard in the freezer and can hurt a baby’s gums, causing more harm than good in the long term.

Topical pain relievers

People should avoid using topical pain relief medications, such as creams or gels, on infants’ gums.

These can be harmful if a parent or caregiver accidentally applies too much or the baby swallows an excessive amount.

It is especially important to avoid gels containing benzocaine, such as Orajel products, because the medication can cause side effects.

Products containing belladonna

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have warned people against using teething tablets that contain extracts of the Atropa belladonna plant, commonly called belladonna.

Their investigations indicate that some of these products contain potentially toxic levels of belladonna.

The FDA have received reports of babies experiencing serious health issues after taking teething products that contain belladonna.

In most cases, a baby will not need to see a doctor because of teething. Home care can often provide relief from pain and discomfort.

However, a parent or caregiver should contact a doctor anytime an infant has a fever higher than 101°F (38.3°C), with or without additional symptoms. It could indicate that the baby has an infection.

During teething, a baby may pass looser stools. However, if a parent or caregiver believes that a baby has diarrhea, they should contact a doctor. Diarrhea can lead to dehydration, especially if it is severe, long-lasting, or accompanied by vomiting.

A baby should visit a dentist by their first birthday, whether or not their teeth have started to come through. Also, routine dental care is important to prevent cavities in baby teeth.

Teething typically begins around 6 months of age. Some signs include irritability, drooling, and gnawing on objects, though not all babies experience the pain or discomfort that causes these behaviors.

A parent or caregiver can typically treat any associated discomfort at home. However, contact a doctor if an infant develops a fever, diarrhea, or other common cold or flu symptoms.

Even if their teeth have yet to appear, a baby should receive a dental checkup by their first birthday.

terms, signs and ways to alleviate the condition

It would seem that only recently the period of colic in your baby’s tummy has passed. And here again he is capricious, crying and does not find a place for himself. The period has come when the child’s teeth are being cut. The appearance of the first incisors is accompanied by pain and a number of other unpleasant symptoms. How not to confuse it with other pathological processes? And how to alleviate the condition of the child? Young parents should learn more about the features of teething in babies.

When the first teeth appear

There is no unambiguous answer as to what time milk teeth begin to erupt. Each child’s body has its own characteristics, so the timing is individual. But there are generalized frameworks that can be guided by:

  1. At 4-7 months, the lower incisors appear. But there are times when the first tooth erupts at 3 months. Again, everything is very individual.
  2. At 7-9 months, two upper incisors appear.
  3. At 9-11 months – two teeth grow on the sides of the central ones on the upper jaw.
  4. At 11-13 months – two lower lateral ones.

In most cases, before the age of one, the child already has 8 front teeth. They erupt in pairs – one, and soon after it another. A one and a half year old baby usually already has first molars. They also appear in pairs on the lower and upper jaws. After them, fangs grow (the first, as a rule, from above). At 2 years old, the baby most often already has 16 teeth. At what age does the formation of a milk bite end? Normally, by the age of 2.5-3 years, the child already has a complete “set”, in which there are 20 teeth.

If your baby has a shift of 2 months (sometimes even 4 months) in one direction or another, it’s okay. This is not yet a departure from the norm. Which of the central teeth will appear first is not important. But if at first it was not the incisors that cut through, then this is already an anomaly, like their complete absence in a one-year-old baby. In these cases, you need to consult a doctor.

What factors affect the timing of the appearance of teeth

When which teeth are cut? Experts note that the beginning of the process of forming a milk bite is determined by various factors. The rudiments of the dentition are formed in the embryo as early as the 6-7th week of pregnancy. Their quality is determined by nutrition, lifestyle, and the presence of diseases in the mother. Long-term toxicosis, complications in bearing a child, premature birth (up to the 37th week), injuries when a baby is born can slow down the time. The time frame when teething begins also depends on such factors:

  • heredity;
  • types of nutrition – breastfeeding is more desirable than artificial, as it involves the active work of the facial muscles;
  • nutritional quality – the more calcium the child’s body receives, the higher the likelihood that teeth will appear faster;
  • climatic conditions – in children living in hot countries, the process starts faster;
  • water quality;
  • compliance with the rules of child care.

Affect the timing and various childhood diseases. So, with rickets, which is caused by a lack of vitamin D, the absorption of calcium is difficult. Deficiency of this element negatively affects the development of teeth. With metabolic disorders, endocrine, infectious diseases, problems in the functioning of the digestive tract, the appearance of teeth can also be belated. It happens that the child has no rudiments – complete or partial adentia. You can confirm or exclude fears with the help of x-rays.

According to long-term observations, it was noted that boys teeth erupt faster than girls.

What symptoms accompany the process of teething

How can you tell if a child is teething? Most often, this process is difficult to miss, because only in rare cases does it not cause pain and other unpleasant sensations.

General signs

The baby may become restless, capricious. Of course, these signs can be associated not only with the appearance of teeth. For this reason, you should also pay attention to the presence of the following symptoms:

  1. Gingival swelling visible to the naked eye. The tissues become bright red. Gingival swelling can also be determined by palpation. Sometimes a hematoma or abscess forms on it.
  2. Increased salivation. Such a symptom may be present in a child up to a year. Due to heavy salivation, the skin is irritated, so a rash may appear around the mouth.
  3. Loss of appetite. Explained by uncomfortable sensations in the mouth. Also during this period, the baby’s taste sensations may change, so if he refuses food that he used to like, do not be surprised.
  4. A child’s desire to put everything in his mouth. The fact is that the baby is tormented by severe itching and he is trying to somehow alleviate his condition.
  5. Acid breath.

The level of pain in each case is different. Against the background of all these symptoms, the child’s sleep is disturbed.

Health disorders

Comparatively harmless symptoms are listed above. But there are times when during this period the child’s health deteriorates, as immunity weakens. This manifests itself in the form of such signs:0003

  1. An increase in body temperature is the body’s reaction to tissue damage, infection and, as a result, inflammation. It is important to monitor the cleanliness of the hands and objects that the baby gnaws. Normally, the indicators are not higher than 38 ˚С and disappear in a day. If it increases and lasts more than 3 days, you need to see a doctor.
  2. Runny nose. Saliva, which is abundant during this period, can enter the nasopharynx or even the middle ear. So there is a runny nose.
  3. Cough. It also occurs due to excessive salivation. A large amount of mucus accumulates in the throat. The baby cannot swallow it reflexively. The throat is cleared by coughing.
  4. Diarrhea. It is necessary to pay attention to the duration of the disorder. Normally, it should pass in a period of up to 3 days. There should be no blood, black or green blotches in the stool. Diarrhea occurs when mucus enters the stomach with food. Less often, constipation may occur for the same reason.

Most of these signs are similar to viral diseases. If you ignore the symptoms, you can get complications. Therefore, it is important to carefully monitor the combination of signs, the condition of the child, take into account how many days the malaise lasts. If the baby is too lethargic, diarrhea has become more frequent, vomiting has appeared, you should consult a doctor.

How to ease teething

As already mentioned, in most cases, the process of teething is accompanied by pain and itching. At this time, the baby needs special care – play with him, talk, ensure thorough hygiene. It is also important to remain calm. Remember that babies feel the emotional mood of their parents. To understand how to help the child at this time, you need to read the recommendations of specialists. There are different ways to do this.


Depending on the symptoms, the following pharmacy products are used:

  1. Ointments and gels. Only a specialist can suggest how to anesthetize teething. Often, babies are prescribed “Kamistad Baby”, “Baby Doctor”, “Kalgel”, “Dentinox”, etc. These drugs have an antiseptic and cooling effect.
  2. Syrups and suppositories. If the temperature rises to 38.5 ° C, antipyretics are needed. In this case, Nurofen, Panadol will help. It is important to carefully observe the indicated dosages and frequency of administration.
  3. Nasal drops. With a runny nose, 1-2 drops of Aquamaris or saline should be instilled into each nostril. Doing this will help flush out mucus from your nasal passages and make it easier for your baby to breathe.

Remember that self-medication is dangerous for your baby. Therefore, coordinate all your actions with the pediatrician. If other unwanted symptoms are noticed, such as redness of the throat, take the child to the doctor.

Alternative methods

Medicines should only be used as a last resort. First you need to try to help the child, using safer methods. Among them:

  1. Gingival cooling. If the question is how to alleviate the baby’s condition and relieve pain, the cold will be your best assistant. Pharmacies sell special teethers filled with water. They are cooled in the refrigerator and offered to the baby. The child massages the gums with a teether. So the inflammation is removed, the outflow of blood from the painful place is ensured.
  2. Gum massage. Make it with clean fingers without intense pressure. It is important to make sure that there are no long nails, otherwise you can damage the fabric for the baby. You can wrap a sterile bandage on your fingers soaked in chamomile infusion or boiled water. Often the child is offered pieces of fruit or vegetables. They are wrapped in gauze and make sure that the baby does not choke.

Teeth don’t cut in one day, so please be patient. How to understand that they have already begun to appear? On the surface of the gums you will see the long-awaited tubercles. This will be the “crown” of all your patience.

Correction of the child’s lifestyle during teething

Parents often have a lot of questions regarding their child’s habitual lifestyle.

Is it possible to walk

For newborns, fresh air is one of the main conditions for harmonious development and growth. Staying within four walls when a baby is teething is definitely impossible. If the child is not lethargic, he does not have a temperature above 38 ˚С, then a walk is an obligatory “ritual”. An exception may be bad weather – severe frost or heat, rain, gusty wind.

Is it possible to vaccinate

The expected date of vaccination may coincide with the appearance of teeth. The process is not a contraindication to immunization. But if the child does not feel well, he has a fever, then it is better to postpone the vaccination until the baby’s condition is normal.

Is it possible to introduce complementary foods

It is recommended to introduce complementary foods at about 5 months or half a year. Deadlines may vary slightly. The appearance of the first tooth is evidence of the readiness of a small organism for “adult” food. If the teething process causes severe discomfort in the baby, stool disorders, fever and other unpleasant symptoms, it is better to wait a little with new dishes. And the baby himself is unlikely to be interested in unfamiliar food.

When teething begins: how to understand and how to help a baby

Tiunova Elena

Published: 07/06/2023

Reading time: 3 minutes


When teething starts

There is no exact answer at what time a child’s teeth are cut – the timing is individual. However, you can focus on the average, standard teething terms approved by WHO:

  • lower incisors appear at 6–7 months;
  • upper – at 7-8 months;
  • upper lateral incisors at 8–9 months;
  • lower – closer to the year.

According to the standard, a one-year-old child must have eight milk teeth.

From a year to a year and a half, a child acquires larger teeth – upper and lower molars, and from fifteen to twenty months – upper canines, which are also called “eye”. The fact is that the optic nerve passes next to them, so these teeth are often given to a child more difficult than others. Irritation of the nerve causes severe pain, and sometimes also lacrimation.

Understanding that the first teeth are being cut can be difficult even for a doctor. After all, this process is often accompanied by fever, changes in stool and mood, refusal to eat.

Formation of the dentition

The article tells how to understand that a child is teething, and about the means of helping him with pain and inflammation of the gums. But first, a few words about the process of forming the dentition.

All teeth are placed during the fifth month of fetal development. They are in a “frozen” state and begin to grow just before eruption. So if a child has no teeth by 9-12 months, x-ray is prescribed – a study that allows you to evaluate their bookmark and location.

What affects the timing of teething

The processes in the body are individual, including the timing. The age of appearance of the first teeth is determined by a number of factors:

  • Heredity.
  • Prenatal period and negative factors affecting the fetus (for example, taking certain drugs by a pregnant woman).
  • Nutrition of the expectant mother during the period of expectation of the baby and breastfeeding.

Introduction of complementary foods, etc.

Teething symptoms

  • may have slight fever;
  • restlessness – the child becomes capricious, does not sleep well, often wakes up at night;
  • decreased appetite;
  • profuse salivation and, as a result, redness of the skin around the mouth;
  • swelling and redness at the site of teething, possible formation of hematomas on the gum mucosa;
  • increased need for baby to chew on something: pacifier, toys, fingers.