When will my child’s teeth appear?

Your baby’s first teeth start to develop while they are still in the womb, however, they usually appear after around 6 months. For some babies this may happen a lot sooner while for others it may happen a lot later, this isn’t a cause for concern.

The first teeth to start pushing through the gums will be the bottom front teeth known as incisors closely followed by the top front teeth. The back teeth usually appear last.

Children usually have all their teeth by the time they’re 2-3 years of age, though there are exceptions to the rule.

A rough guide to how babies teeth usually emerge

Why is teething painful?

Think about it like this. Your baby’s gums are happily gliding along through life when a tooth underneath decides it wants to push through. As the tooth pushes its way out into the world, the gums are often understandably sore and painful. It usually takes around 3-5 days before the tooth finally breaks through the gums (at which point, the pain usually ends) and you may find that your child is unusually fussy during this time.

What are the signs of teething pain in babies?

Before the first tooth appears, your baby might show these early signs of teething:

  • Flushed cheeks
  • Sensitive red gums
  • Excessive dribbling
  • A desire to chew on whatever they can find
  • Crying
  • Rubbing their ear
  • Waking up at night distressed
  • A mild temperature of less than 38°C

Sometimes you might be able to see your baby’s tooth coming through, or you may feel a bump on their gum line.

How can I help soothe my baby's teething pain?

Extra cuddles and hugs always help a teething baby. You’ll also find they often love to chew, so give them something firm to bite on such as a teething ring. A helpful tip is to chill the teething ring in the fridge so your baby will find it extra soothing. The instructions that come with the ring should tell you if you can do this and how long to chill it for.

If your baby is distressed and can’t be soothed then you may want to consider giving them some pain relief medicine such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. Nurofen suspensions are sugar and colour free and offers pain relief for up to 8 hours for babies from 3 months and weighing over 5kg.

Other great ways to help soothe your baby include:

  • Massaging your baby’s gums with your finger (clean your finger first, of course!)
  • If your baby is drooling more than usual, make sure you wipe their chin and face frequently to help prevent them from getting a rash
  • Comfort or play with your baby to help distract them from the pain in their gums
  • If your baby is 6 months or older, try giving them healthy things to chew on such as raw fruit and veg.

3 Tips for a happier home when your child is teething

  • Share night-time soothing duties with your partner
  • If night sleep is disrupted, encourage plenty of naps for the whole family
  • Make sure you take teething rings with you when you’re out and about

Plaque can quickly build up on your baby’s teeth as soon as they have them. That’s why caring for them from the start helps new teeth stay strong and healthy.