You baby will begin drooling and putting everything in his/her mouth around 3-4 months of age, but this is a developmental phase and not a specific sign of teething. While there are a few babies who teeth early, teething USUALLY starts around 6 months, and many do not get teeth until 9-12 months of age. Teething occurs until around 30 months. This page has a great video and chart with timeline for eruption of teeth (primary and permanent). There are no concerns if your baby’s teeth erupt out of order.
Some babies have few symptoms, others experience significant discomfort. Signs and symptoms your baby may be teething include:
- Increased drooling
- Increased chewing on objects
- Irritability or fussiness
- Swollen, sore, or tender gums
- Slight increase in body temperature (not over 100 degrees)
- Rash on face/neck from increased drooling/rubbing face
- Tugging on ears (babies do not localize pain well, so may rub jaw, ears, etc).
Fever (over 100 degrees), runny nose, diarrhea, and rash (outside face/neck) are sometimes attributed to teething, but these are more likely to be viral illnesses than teething.
Avoid teething necklaces, as there have been babies who have choked or been strangled when using them. Also avoid benozocaine containing treatments (Orajel, etc) as they can have dangerous side effects for babies. Avoid belladona containing products.
- Massaging gums
- Chilled objects for chewing – avoid freezing
- Homeopathy can be a safe alternative to traditional medications. Here is information on Homeopathy remedies that may support teething. Our favorite product is Camilia, which contains some of the ingredients mentioned in this blog.
- Ibuprofen (or acetaminophen) for significant discomfort. We recommend ibuprofen over acetaminophen – you can read more about acetaminophen here.
If your baby has fever, significant fussiness, decreased wet diapers, generalized rash, or seems ill, we should evaluate your baby for illness. If your child’s first tooth has not erupted by 18 months, (s)he should be evaluated by a dentist.