• Teething pain

    Teething can be uncomfortable for your child, but there are lots of ways you can help.

    Pain relief medicines for children containing paracetamol or ibuprofen are effective ways of treating teething pain and can help your little one get through the worst of it.

    See our products for teething pain

What is teething?

Teething is when a baby’s teeth start to emerge through their gums. It can be really painful and it’s no wonder – their gums can become tender and irritable as the teeth push their way through.

It’s a slow process. All babies are different, but most start teething around 6 months, and most will have all their milk teeth by the time they are 2½ years old.

Some children don’t have any teething problems – their teeth come through without any discomfort. But others really feel it.

Of course, if your baby’s upset, it can be hard to tell why, especially when they’re very small.

How can I tell if my baby’s teething?

Often teething pain can make your child restless or irritable, and they might have trouble sleeping.

Lots of dribbling is another really good indicator that teeth are starting to come through, and you’ll probably find your baby is trying to chew anything they can get their hands on – from their favourite toys to your fingers.

You might also notice their cheek becoming hot and flushed on the affected side as the tooth pushes upwards. You might feel a lump on their gum, or even see a white patch through their skin.

The good news is that once the tooth has emerged, the discomfort usually stops – and your little one has a brand new tooth to show off too!

You can keep track of the development of your child’s teeth using the handy teething chart we’ve created.

Download the CALPOL® teething chart

How can I help my child feel better?

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Dr Carol Cooper’s involvement in these videos is sponsored by CALPOL® however Dr Carol Cooper does not endorse CALPOL® or the CALPOL® Family of products.

There are lots of things you can try when your baby’s teething.

  • Rubbing their gums gently with your little finger can help.
  • You can give your baby something to chew on, like a teething ring. Try cooling it in the fridge beforehand, but make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions to check whether it’s suitable to refrigerate.
  • If your baby is over 3 months, you could use a sugar-free teething gel, such as CALGEL® Teething Gel. It has a mild anaesthetic, which numbs the gums.
  • You could also try a paracetamol-based medicine. CALPOL® Infant Suspension is suitable for babies older than 2 months, weighing over 4kg and not premature.
  • Or you could try an ibuprofen-based medicine like CALPROFEN® Ibuprofen Suspension, which is suitable for children over 3 months and weighing over 5kg.

See also


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