- New primary teeth are seen working their way through the gums
- Teeth come in between 6 and 24 months of age
- Main symptoms are increased saliva, drooling and desire to chew on things
- Occasional symptoms: mild gum pain. Not enough to cause crying or interfere with sleep.
- Does not cause fever (rarely gets to 101°F), diarrhea, diaper rash or lowered resistance to infection
- Caution: Blaming teething for fevers can lead to a delayed diagnosis of ear infections, urinary tract infections, meningitis and other infections
See More Appropriate Topic
- If main symptom is crying, see Crying Child >3 Months Old
- If Fever is also present
Call Your Doctor Now (night or day) If
- Your child looks or acts very sick
Call Your Doctor During Weekday Office Hours If
- You think your child needs to be seen
- You have other questions or concerns
Parent Care at Home If
- This is normal teething and you don’t think your child needs to be seen
Home Care Advice for Teething
- Reassurance: Teething is a natural process. It’s harmless and it causes little if any pain. It doesn’t cause fever or crying.
- Gum Massage: Find the irritated or swollen gum. Massage it with your finger for 2 minutes. Do this as often as necessary. You may use a piece of ice wrapped in a wet cloth to massage the gum.
- Teething Rings or Teething Biscuits:
- Infants massage their own gums by chewing on smooth, hard objects.
- Offer a teething ring or wet washcloth that has been chilled in the refrigerator, but not frozen in the freezer. A piece of chilled banana may help.
- Avoid hard foods that could cause choking (e.g., raw carrots).
- Avoid ice or Popsicles that could cause frostbite of the gums.
- Cup Feeding: If your infant refuses nipple feedings, use a cup temporarily.
- Pain Medicine: If the pain increases, give acetaminophen orally for 1 day. (Special teething gels are unnecessary. If you want to use one, don’t apply it more than 4 times a day. Reason: risk of overdosage)
- Call Your Doctor If
- Develops unexplained crying
- Develops fever > 101°F (38.4°C)
- Your child becomes worse