Well baby care
Most babies get their first tooth when they’re around 6 months old. But teething can start as early as 3 months. Teething is when your baby’s teeth come through the gums for the first time. The two front teeth on top or bottom usually come in first. Most children have all 20 of their baby teeth by time they are 3 years old.
What are signs and symptoms that your baby is teething?
Some babies have no trouble with teething. Other babies may feel pain for a short time. And others may be fussy for weeks because of teething pain.
Signs and symptoms of teething include:
- Being cranky
- Chewing on something hard
- Fever with temperature less than 101F
- Stomach ache
- Swollen gums or gums that hurt when they’re touched
Call your baby’s health care provider if your baby seems sick, seems to be in constant pain, or has a temperature higher than 101F. These signs may mean that something else is wrong.
How can you help your baby feel better during teething?
To help your baby feel better:
- Give her something to chew on, like a rubber teething ring, a cold spoon or a cold washcloth. Chewing on these things can help ease pain. Clean these items to avoid infection. Some parents find that a chilled teething ring lessens their baby’s pain. If you chill your baby’s teething ring in the freezer, take it out when it’s cold but before it becomes really hard. A frozen solid teething ring can hurt a baby’s tender gums.
- Rub her gums with a clean finger to help with the pain. But don’t give your baby any pain medicines and don’t rub any medicines or alcohol on her gums. Some medicines can harm your baby if she swallows too much. Other medicines wash out of the mouth before they can help with pain.
- Wash any drool off her face to avoid development of a rash.
Last reviewed August 2012