When do babies start teething?

Teeth grow in stages, with the lower front teeth arriving first. Children will usually have all their teeth by the time they’re about 2 ½ to 3 years of age. It’s important to know that every baby develops differently. Most babies get their first teeth at around six months, some at a year, some before they’re four months old, and some are even born with their first teeth.

What are the signs of teething?

Before the first tooth makes an appearance, your child might show these early signs of teething:

  • A flushed cheek or face
  • Sensitive red gums
  • Drooling or dribbling more than usual
  • Trying to chew on whatever they can find
  • Crying or more fretful than usual
  • Their feeding varies
  • Waking up at night unsettled

You might notice your baby’s gum is sore and red where the tooth is coming through. If you’re becoming worried that your little one is not well, don’t hesitate to see a doctor.

How to help your baby with teething pain

There are many remedies that can help your little one feel better during teething but remember, every baby is different, so try a few things to find what works for them. Of course, extra cuddles and hugs go a long way too. Pain relief can also come in various forms including medication such as paracetamol and ibuprofen. Cooled items such as a teething ring can help to soothe gums and distract them from their pain.

Five tips to relieve teething pain

  1. When your little one is teething, you may find that they want to chew or gnaw on everything. In addition to a teething ring, a cool object such as a chilled and sterilised washcloth may also soothe your little one. If your baby is older than 6 months, giving them chilled fruit or vegetables to chew on may be helpful.
  2. You could also try gently rubbing your baby’s gums with your clean finger, to ease the pain.
  3. If they’re in pain, a sugar-free pain reliever containing paracetamol or ibuprofen may make them feel better. Nurofen for Children contains ibuprofen and can help to bring down inflammation and relieve pain.
  4. Teething time can be disruptive for the whole family, so try to get plenty of rest to avoid feeling tired or frustrated.
  5. Make sure you take teething rings with you when you’re out and about. Keeping a few of them in the fridge at the same time will help ensure that your little one always has something to chew on. Never put teething rings in the freezer, as they may freeze and damage the gums.

When to start caring for your baby’s teeth

You can start brushing your baby’s teeth as soon as they appear, as this will help get them used to brushing and set a good daily routine to keep teeth and gums healthy. Start with a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste on a baby toothbrush for babies and toddlers up to 3 years old. To prevent tooth decay, try to avoid or reduce the amount of sugar that your child eats and drinks. 

Did you know? The longer sugar stays in your little one’s mouth, the more decay it may cause.

Take your baby to your own dental appointments so that they get used to the idea of visiting the dentist. You can also ask your dentist to check your baby’s teeth while you’re there. If you are concerned about your little one’s teething or have any questions about teething pain relief, contact your doctor.