Teething is the normal process of new primary (baby) teeth working their way through the gums. Baby teeth come in between 6 and 24 months of age. Permanent teeth start coming in between 5 and 6 years.
- Find the irritated or swollen gum and massage it with your finger for 2 minutes.
- Do this as often as needed - putting pressure on the sore gum can reduce pain.
- Over 12 months: You may use a piece of ice wrapped in a wet cloth to massage the gum.
Teething Ring (Teethers):
- Infants may try to massage their own sore gums by chewing on smooth, hard objects.
- Offer a teething ring, pacifier, or wet washcloth that has been chilled in the refrigerator but not frozen in the freezer.
- Over 12 months: A piece of chilled banana may help.
- Avoid hard foods that could cause choking.
- Avoid ice or popsicles that could cause frostbite of the gums.
If your infant refuses nipple feedings, use a cup, spoon, or syringe temporarily.
- Pain medicines are usually not needed for the mild discomfort of teething. If discomfort doesn’t respond to gum massage, you can administer acetaminophen or ibuprofen as needed. Only do this for 1 or 2 days. Before administering medication, please review our medication dosing guides.
Teething Gels - Not Advised:
Special teething gels are available over the counter (OTC). They are not approved by the FDA and have not been proven effective. Gum massage has been shown to work better.
Usually teething doesn’t cause any symptoms. If your child is having some discomfort, it should pass in 2 or 3 days.
When to Call the Office
- Your child is crying unexplainably.
- Your child develops a fever.
- Your child becomes worse.
©1994-2022 Schmitt Pediatric Guidelines, LLC.
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.