Signs of Teething and How to Ease the Pain

Your baby’s first teeth may begin pushing out sometime between 4 and 6 months (although many children’s teeth don’t come in until after 10 months). Some babies aren’t bothered by incoming teeth, while others seem very uncomfortable.

Common signs of teething include crankiness, drooling (and sometimes a resulting rash around the mouth), red or inflamed gums, waking more often at night and fussiness around meals. Fever, diarrhea and other symptoms are signs of illness, not teething.

Your baby may also have an urge to bite things, which reduces teething discomfort. Rubbery toys, teething rings or a twisted wet washcloth are ideal, especially if you put them in the refrigerator or freezer for a short time (15–30 minutes) first, so that the cold toy or cloth will number your baby’s sore gum. Do not freeze these items solid—take them out before they get rock hard.

According to the FDA, you should not use benzocaine products to relieve teething pain for children under age 2, unless directed to by a healthcare professional.

Once your baby starts to have teeth, clean them twice a day with an infant-sized toothbrush you’ve run under the faucet. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends putting a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste on the toothbrush—but no more than the size of a piece of rice, since your baby isn’t yet able to spit out a more significant amount.

This message is not intended to provide individual medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have about your health or medical condition, your breastfeeding issues and your infant's health. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you have read in our emails, webpages or other electronic communications.

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