When Do Babies Start To Teething

When Do Babies Start Teething?

At what age do babies start teething? Find out more about how baby’s teething affects physical development. Think you love your baby’s gummy grin now? Wait until cute little chompers make an appearance.

baby chewing on teething toy

If there’s one milestone many parents wish they could delay (or at least skip to the end immediately), it’s teething. Sure, your kid will look adorable when he smiles and shows those two tiny bottom teeth, but the process of getting them isn’t much fun — for your baby or for you. The good news is, all the suffering isn’t for nothing. Teething, like crawling, walking and talking, is an important milestone that shows your child is on the right track developmentally, says Tanny Josen, D.D.S., a pediatric dentist at Kid Island Dental in Long Island, New York. Although appearance is the first thing many think of when teeth are mentioned, your baby’s pearly whites will be essential for much more.


What Are the Symptoms of Teething?

Symptoms of teething may start to appear 2-3 months before your baby starts to sprout teeth, though the severity of symptoms will vary greatly from child to child.



Gnawing on objects

Many begin with gnawing on you or objects they are holding. This is a sign that your child is trying to relieve the pressure under their gums.

Refusing to eat

Your child may also refuse to eat if the pain or pressure of their teeth growing in is too difficult to bear. Keep trying to feed your child and call your pediatrician if your child refuses to eat for a few days.

Fussing at night

You may find that babies also fuss at night when their mouths are sore from teething. This is particularly common when your baby is cutting their first tooth.


Another common symptom of teething is drooling. You may find that you need to keep a bib on your child constantly and wipe their face clean to prevent chafing. Moisturizer can be applied to you and your baby’s skins if this moisture is causing discomfort. As long as your child is not gagging or coughing due to pooling saliva, drooling is not dangerous.

You may also find placing absorbent sheets in their bed to be helpful in rash prevention.

Home Remedies for Teething Pain



Give babies teething toys

Babies that are teething will love to chew because this provides a counter pressure which will relieve some of the ache of teeth pushing through the gums. Teething toys are specifically designed to address this need. Icy or cold objects are also helpful for teething because the cold can help to numb sore gums.

Use your finger to rub babies’ gums

Using your finger to rub the child’s gums can also provide counter pressure for teethers. Your child may find this uncomfortable at first but eventually it will provide some relief.

Give babies cold drinks

Cold drinks can be provided to children over six months of age to help numb their gums. If your child does not want to suck on a bottle, give them some cold water in a cup.

Introduce chilled food to babies

Chilled food can also provide some relief during teething. Introduce foods such as yogurt, applesauce or blended peaches to your child.

Talk to a pediatrician


If none of these remedies provide relief, topical pain relievers or baby strength acetaminophen can help ease the pain. Talk to your child’s pediatrician about what remedies might be appropriate for your child.

Please see this video to get more information about baby teething basics:

Dental Care for Your Teething Baby

You will need to provide proper care for your child’s teeth in order to ensure dental health.

  • Wipe Your Babies’ Gums

Even though the first set of teeth is designed to fall out in a few years, tooth decay can harm your child’s gum line before permanent teeth can grow in, causing teeth to crowd and grow in out of place. Even before teeth grow in you should wipe your child’s gums with gauze or a damp washcloth or gently use an infant toothbrush with water. When the first teeth appear, continue to clean them with water.


  • Know When to Use Toothpaste

It is safe to start using toothpaste as soon as your child is able to spit it out. This is usually around 3 years old. Do not use fluoride toothpaste and supervise brushing to avoid problems. When the teeth start to touch, you can introduce flossing into your routine, but talk to your dentist about the proper methods for doing so.


  • Avoid Tooth Decay

Avoid leaving them alone with substances that could harm their teeth. This includes not allowing your child to fall asleep with a bottle as this could allow sugary liquids to pool against the teeth and cause decay.


Type of Development: Physical and Language

Your baby’s teeth will help allow her to eat a well-rounded diet. Without them, she could be stuck eating pureed everything, forever. Tooth eruption means your child is acquiring the ability to tear into meat, bite into a plum, and chew beans, so teething has an indirect effect on her gaining weight, strengthening immunity, and improving bone and brain development.

Another perk: Your baby’s teeth will help her emerging language skills. “As babies acquire teeth and can increasingly bite and chew more textured foods, they are exercising and building the underlying oral-motor musculature for speech development of the jaw, cheeks, tongue, and lips,” says Sherry Artemenko, a speech-language pathologist and founder of Play on Words. Plus, your child will need to use her teeth for developing later sounds like /f/, /th/ or /sh/, she adds.

When to Expect Teething to Begin

“Most babies’ teeth begin to erupt between the ages of 4 to 6 months, though for some it may be earlier or later,” Dr. Josen says. And no matter what Grandma says, when your child’s first tooth pops in, it has nothing to do with smarts. “The age the baby cuts his or her first tooth depends on family history of teething and nothing more,” says Jill Lasky, D.D.S., a pediatric dentist at Lasky Pediatric Dental Group in Los Angeles. So, if you got your teeth early, your child probably will too. Same thing if you were late.

Typically, the two bottom front teeth (central incisors) are the first to erupt, followed by the four upper front teeth (central and lateral incisors). But variations in the order may occur and don’t warrant any concern, Dr. Josen says. Your child should have a full set of primary (baby) teeth by the time he’s almost three.

What Teething Milestones Parents Should Expect

Not all babies have teething symptoms. But for babies who aren’t as lucky, the arrival of those tiny teeth can cause a whole lot of misery. “Symptoms a child may have when teething are drooling, which can cause a rash on the chin or face; gum swelling and sensitivity; irritability; biting; or sleep problems,” Dr. Josen says. Your baby may also rub her face, tug on her ears, or even refuse to eat and drink. Some parents report that their babies suffer from a mild fever, diarrhea, or runny nose, but Dr. Lasky says teething doesn’t cause these symptoms. “Instead, the tiny open wounds in the gums that result from the teeth erupting makes it more likely for the baby to catch a little bug,” she explains.

You can do quite a few things to help your teething baby. Cold will help numb the gums naturally. “I recommend chilling — not freezing — a wet washcloth or a toy that you feel comfortable having your baby chew on,” Dr. Lasky says. Make sure the toy is age-appropriate, BPA-free, and nontoxic. If you choose to use a washcloth, chill a few in a plastic food-storage bag so they’ll be on hand when your child needs one. Rubbing his gums with a clean finger or giving him cold food (like applesauce or pureed fruit) or drinks may also reduce the pain. If nothing is helping, check with your pediatrician, who may recommend that you use an over-the-counter pain reliever for babies, like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Aspirin is off-limits for children because it is associated with Reye’s syndrome, a rare but serious and life-threatening condition.

A couple of pain relief methods you shouldn’t turn to are teethers (also known as teething rings) and topical teething gels. “The teeth could puncture the teether and your baby could ingest the substance inside,” Dr. Lasky says. The FDA warns against using over-the-counter topical numbing preparations because they can be toxic to babies. Symptoms of teething usually disappear when the tooth breaks through the gum.


Red Flags to Watch Out For

Premature and low-birthweight babies may experience delays in when their first tooth erupts. If your baby isn’t showing any signs of sprouting a tooth by his first birthday, discuss it with the pediatrician. You should also contact the pediatrician if your baby is teething and:

  • has a high fever, diarrhea, or vomiting
  • the gums look very inflamed
  • the gums are blue (this usually indicates an eruption cyst, a swelling of the gums above an erupting tooth; although most cysts are benign, it’s best to have them checked)
  • the gums have lesions or bumps