All About Teething - BabyMatters

all about teething infographic

Quick summary

Teething is a significant developmental moment for babies, marked by the emergence of their first tooth. It typically starts around 4-7 months and can last up to 36 months. Signs of teething, such as swollen and tender gums, may appear before the first tooth is visible. Some discomfort during this process is normal. To soothe a teething baby, various methods can be tried, though effectiveness may vary among babies. Taking care of the baby's new teeth is essential, including brushing them with fluoride toothpaste and scheduling the first dentist visit.


What is teething?

Smile! It’s a big moment in baby’s development — the first tooth! Teething is when your baby’s teeth start to break through the gums. The process generally starts around 4–7 months and can last up to 36 months.

While first teeth often appear around 6 months, don’t worry if your baby doesn’t follow this timing!

Timing of teething varies and some babies reach their first birthday without any teeth. Most babies develop teeth from 6–12 months & have all their baby teeth by 3 years.

  • The first teeth to appear are the front teeth (either upper or lower)
  • The first molars generally come after

Common teething signs

Signs of teething may begin before a first tooth is even visible. As the teeth begin to emerge, the gums around them may become swollen and tender. Some discomfort during teething is normal.

Common signs of teething:

  • Fussiness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Irritability
  • Ear rubbing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Increased drooling
  • Desire to chew

Call your pediatrician if your baby has any of the following:

  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Rash

Every baby is different, so some children may have no problems!

Soothing a teething baby

There are several things to try if your baby is experiencing discomfort during teething, but keep in mind that what works for some babies may not work for others. Sometimes cuddle time with you will be the biggest comfort!

Wash your hands and gently rub baby’s gums with your finger or a cold, wet washcloth

Explore edible teethers at snack time if your child is 6 months and older and accustomed to eating solid foods‡

Ask your doctor if an over-the-counter pain medication is appropriate for your baby†

†The FDA warns against using any sort of topical medication for teething, including creams and gels or homeopathic teething tablets. ‡ Read package instructions for edible teethers carefully.

Caring for your baby’s new teeth

Taking care of baby’s new teeth is important. When baby’s first tooth emerges, it’s time to get out the toothbrush and schedule your baby’s first dentist visit.

To help prevent cavities, never let your baby fall asleep with a bottle

Check to see if your water contains fluoride, a mineral that helps prevent tooth decay

New teeth need to be brushed! Brush baby’s teeth 2x daily with a soft-bristled child’s toothbrush using a rice grain-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste

Gerber products to help teethers

Teething and the discomfort associated with teething is a natural step in child development. Gerber is the only brand with a full line of edible teethers with a variety of shapes and textures.