What to Expect When Your Baby Is Teething

Babies generally start teething around six months old—some will begin getting their first teeth in earlier, and some will start later. Your baby should have their first tooth by their first birthday, which is also around the time they should have their first dental visit.

Teething can be challenging for parents and infants alike, so it helps to know what to expect when your baby is teething. Prepare for teething time by knowing the symptoms and how to soothe your little one while they are growing their new teeth!

Irritability or Fussiness

Crankiness is one of the first signs your baby is growing their new teeth. Your child may act uncomfortable, not sleep well, or be easily upset or distressed [1]. These are all signs that your child is getting their first tooth or new teeth.

Fortunately, the first teeth coming in tend to be the worst as far as irritability goes because they generally cause the most discomfort. However, molars also tend to be uncomfortable, so your baby may need extra support when getting these teeth in.

Excessive Drooling or Chewing

Babies who are teething tend to drool and chew a lot. You may notice excessive drooling, or your baby may try to put anything and everything—including their fingers—in their mouth.

This drooling and desire to chew may be accompanied by red gum tissue where the tooth is about to emerge [2]. Although your baby may be chewing on fingers or objects, they may not be as interested in food when teething. Excess drool can also cause babies to cough, which is a teething symptom that may be mistaken for a cold or virus.

Low-Grade Fever or Facial Redness

Some infants may also have a low-grade fever while teething, which, combined with coughing, may cause parents to think their baby is sick.

A low-grade temperature of not more than 100 degrees is not uncommon with teething babies [3]. However, if your baby has a temperature above 100 degrees, contact their physician as soon as possible.

Your child may also have facial redness or what appears to be a rash on their face when they are teething. This generally isn’t from the teething itself but from excessive drool that gets on the skin and causes irritation.

How to Help Your Teething Little One

Be as patient as possible with your baby and offer comfort and lots of cuddles during this challenging time. Your baby is feeling uncomfortable, and research shows that physical touch and skin-to-skin contact can help calm babies and improve their sleep [4]. As a bonus, cuddling can also help reduce stress and have a calming effect on the infant’s caregiver.

Offering your baby cold or frozen toys (never gel-filled) can give them something to chew on to help ease their discomfort. You can also try gently massaging your baby’s gums with a clean finger to help relieve pain.

If your baby has symptoms unrelated to teething, such as a high fever, diarrhea, a runny nose, or excessive crying, be sure to follow up with your child’s physician as soon as possible, as these are not teething symptoms even if they occur at the same time as your child’s teething.

Has your child begun the teething process? If so, it’s time to schedule their first dental appointment to ensure their teeth are healthy and their oral development is on track!

Sources:
1. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/baby/babys-development/teething/baby-teething-
symptoms/
2. https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/t/teething
3. https://www.chla.org/blog/rn-remedies/your-infant-teething-know-the-signs-and-
symptoms
4. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/infant-touch/

Summary
What to Expect When Your Baby Is Teething
Article Name
What to Expect When Your Baby Is Teething
Description
Teething can be challenging for parents and infants alike, so it helps to know what to expect when your baby is teething. Prepare for teething time by knowing the symptoms and how to soothe your little one while they are growing their new teeth!
Author
Aldie Family & Cosmetic Dentistry