Teething

Your little one is likely to cut their first tooth at around six months old - this momentous occasion is known as teething. But every baby is different. Some may sail through the teething process and you’ll barely notice any symptoms, while others may experience discomfort as they make room for those little pegs.

While your baby’s teeth are coming through there are ways to help ease any pain. Lots of parents ask at what point they should offer CALPOL® for teething, and what else they need to know about these milestone moments - we can help answer those questions.

While it can be difficult to see your little one in pain and upset, teething is a perfectly normal part of them growing up.

But if you suspect something other than teething is causing your baby pain in their mouth, you might want to take them to the dentist or doctor for peace of mind.

Baby Teething

How can I ease teething symptoms?

There are a number of ways to help reduce teething pain - from chew rings to soothing gels. Just remember, each and every child is unique so the symptoms of teething may not be the same for every baby.

Some won’t display any symptoms and their teeth will come through without any trouble. For others, teething can be painful as their gums become tender, sore and irritated. If this is the case, there are things you can try to help them feel more comfortable.

Teething rings can be chewed safely. Those that can be cooled in the fridge first can especially help to soothe those throbbing gums. If your baby is six months or older and eating solids, cold finger foods like apple and carrot make for a tasty alternative and can help ease the pain on their gums. Be sure to stay close by when baby is eating, though, as these foods can be a choking hazard.

If non-medicinal methods such as massaging their gums or teething rings have not provided relief, you could try teething gels. Teething gels may contain a mild anaesthetic which helps to numb the gums. They may also contain an antiseptic which helps to prevent infection. CALGEL® teething gel can be given for the relief of pain and discomfort associated with teething in children from 5 months of age*.

 *Where non-pharmacological treatments have failed to provide sufficient relief. For short- term use of no more than 7 days. Always read the label. 

Is it OK to give CALPOL® Infant Suspension for teething?

If your little one is in pain, You could try a paracetamol-based medicine like CALPOL® Infant Suspension which can be used from 2+ months. Please check the correct dosage for their age and follow the guidelines provided.

How often can I give CALPOL® Infant Suspension for teething?

 Age of child

 How much

 2-3 months

 2.5ml (if necessary, after 4-6  hours, give a second  2.5ml  dose)

  • Only give if your baby weighs over 4kg and was born after 37 weeks

  • Leave at least 4 hours between doses

  • Do not give more than two doses. This is to ensure that fever that may be due to a serious infection is quickly diagnosed. If your child is still feverish after two doses, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Age of child

 How much

 How often (in 24 hours)

 3-6 months

 2.5ml

 Up to 4 times

 6-24 months

 5ml

 Up to 4 times

 2-4 years

 7.5ml (5ml + 2.5ml)

 Up to 4 times

 4-6 years

 10ml (5ml + 5ml)

 Up to 4 times

  • Do not give more than 4 doses in any 24 hour period

  • Leave at least 4 hours between doses

  • Do not give this medicine to your child for more than 3 days without speaking to your doctor or pharmacist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Remember that dosing instructions for ibuprofen are different, always read the Patient Information

 

Misconceptions about teething

Every baby goes through teething - yet it’s a topic that can be largely misunderstood. We’ve answered some of the most common questions asked by parents.

Does teething always begin at six months of age?

Not always, because every child is different. You might start to see signs of teeth around this time, but some babies begin to develop teeth earlier than this, while others may not get any teeth until they are 12 months old and over. Some babies are even born with teeth, which is perfectly normal too.

Take a look at our guide ‘When do babies start teething?’ for more information about the order in which baby teeth most commonly grow. You could also download our teething chart to help document your little one’s progress.

Does teething cause symptoms like diarrhoea or fever?

There is no evidence to support this. Some children experience mild symptoms, such as drooling, flushed cheeks or irritability, when teething; but currently there is no research to support the thinking that teething causes diarrhoea or fever.

You know your little one best so if they’re displaying other symptoms alongside their teething and you’re worried, talk to your doctor.

But if you’re finding that non-medical methods such as massaging of the gums or use of teething rings do not provide your child with the necessary relief, you could try CALGEL® Teething Gel. It contains a mild local anaesthetic and mild antiseptic which helps relieve the pain of sore gums. For 5 months and over*.

*Where non-pharmacological treatments have failed to provide sufficient relief. For short- term use of no more than 7 days. Always read the label.

When do babies start teething?

Most babies show signs and symptoms of teething at six months old - it will be around this time when your baby’s milk teeth will begin to show signs of sprouting. But the teething process is different and unique for every baby - for some, teething can begin before they’re even born or after their first birthday.

When babies start teething it can be a distressing time for them and parents, so it’s important you’re on hand with lots of TLC to help them feel better. Many parents have lots of questions about this time – especially first-time parents.

At what point should you expect that very first tooth to make its appearance? What age will baby be able to show off a smile with a full set of teeth? The guide below provides all the need-to-know information about the teething timeline.

Baby teething timeline

Every baby’s teething timeline is different - but the order in which the teeth come in tends to follow a similar pattern. We’ve put together a rough guide to give you an idea of what to expect and when:

  • Around 4 to 6 months. You might start to notice your baby displaying symptoms of teething around this time. If you spot excessive dribbling, flushed cheeks or a need to chew their fingers or anything else they can get their hands on, these are usually indicators that the first teeth are pushing through.
  • Around 5 to 7 months. Keep an eye out for those little white pegs making an appearance. First to push through are normally the lower central incisors (the two teeth at the very front of the mouth at the bottom). From this point you can start brushing your little one’s brand new teeth and getting them used to this new addition to their daily routine.
  • Around 6 to 8 months. As your baby becomes more familiar with those two bottom teeth, it’s not long before the upper incisors (the two directly above lower ones) come in. If they’re six months old, you can offer finger foods to help relieve the discomfort. Breadsticks, peeled carrots and apples can help – just be sure to always stay close to your little one while they’re eating in case of choking.
  • Around 9 to 11 months. The top or upper lateral incisors (either side of top central teeth) may be next to arrive.
  • Around 10 to 12 months. The bottom lateral incisors may step into the spotlight. These two teeth sit either side of the bottom front teeth. That toothless grin may be a thing of the past as your little one proudly shows off two healthy rows of teeth.
  • Around 12 to 16 months. Your toddler has a very busy few months ahead of them. As well continuing to try new foods and learning to walk and talk, the teething process continues. This time it’s the turn of the first molars (the back teeth) to make an appearance.
  • Around 16 to 20 months. Expect the arrival of the teeth between the upper and lower molars and incisors. These sharp and pointy teeth are known as the canines.
  • Around 20 to 30 months. Your little one is almost there, The very back teeth or second molars, grow through the bottom gum.
  • Around 2 ½ years old. Another big milestone in your tiny tot’s life – Most children will be the proud owner of a full set of milk teeth at 2.5 years old.
  • Around 6 years old. Getting those baby teeth through was an achievement, but at around six years old the milk teeth will begin to fall out and make way for adult teeth.

Can babies be born with teeth?

Yes – it might be rare, but it’s perfectly normal for a baby to be born with their first tooth protruding through the gums. They are called natal teeth. Others can start teething within just four weeks – these are rarer and are called neonatal teeth.

How long will teething last?

All babies are different so while many begin teething at around six months, others could display signs of teething at four months or even much later.The majority of babies will have developed a full set of 20 primary teeth by the time they are two and a half years old.

As each tooth pushes its way to the surface, your little one might feel uncomfortable or be in pain for a few days. There isn’t a definite answer as to how long it takes for each tooth to fully cut through once baby has shown those initial signs of teething. It will all depend on each individual child and whether one or several teeth are coming in.

How do I prepare for teething?

Knowing the symptoms of teething and what to look out for is the first step. Consider preparing for teething by buying items like teething rings, so if teething trouble hits, you’re well prepared.

You might also find it useful to look up some information about various illnesses, so you can spot the difference between teething or whether it is something else. There’s no evidence to support common thinking that teething causes diarrhoea, fevers or a runny nose, but if you’re concerned you might want to consider getting medical advice.

How do I look after their first teeth?

As soon as your baby has cut that first tooth, you can think about incorporating dental care into their daily routine. Get your little one used to having their teeth brushed twice a day and let them see you brushing your own teeth so they come to realise it’s a normal part of everyday life.

You only need to use a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste for babies and toddlers up to the age of three, and a pea-sized amount for children aged between three and six.

It’s also worth taking your baby to the dentist with you so they get used to regular visits from an early age.

Do I need to go to the dentist or doctors?

You know your baby best and if they’re displaying symptoms other than the ones we’ve mentioned or other than the symptoms found on the NHS website here, you may want to seek medical advice for your own peace of mind if nothing else.

Teething Symptoms

From around six months of age, your baby will start to show signs of their teeth coming through. Every child is different and teeth will develop at different times. But the appearance of their first white peg is something to be celebrated and a true indicator that your tiny baby is growing up.

While some baby teeth come through with few problems, teething can cause real discomfort and distress for others leading to swollen and sore gums, and sleepless nights – for both baby and parents.

What are typical baby teething symptoms?

Symptoms can range from flushed cheeks to dribbling. As your baby’s first teeth  (also called milk or deciduous teeth)  begin to appear, you might notice these symptoms. We’ve put together a comprehensive list of things you might spot while your baby is or about to start teething.

  • Chewing or gnawing behaviour. A key indicator your baby could be teething is if they start chewing on their fingers, toys, clothing - anything they can get hold of. Teething rings can be very comforting and provide something safe for your baby to chew on. Alternatively, if your little one is over six months old, healthy foods like carrot and apple are great for them to gently gnaw on.
  • Dribbling.You might spot that your baby is dribbling a lot more than usual. This is natural. Help to prevent a rash developing on their sensitive skin by gently wiping their chin and face regularly. Though bear in mind that drooling doesn’t always mean teething, as around 3 months old babies start developing salivary glands.
  • Flushed cheeks. Rosy red cheeks are common in teething babies. Don’t mistake this for your little one being too warm and needing layers peeling off. Their cheeks are likely to be flushed because the tooth pushing through the gum is causing irritation. But if they do feel warm with flushed cheeks, take their temperature to rule out a fever.
  • Irritability. Being fractious, struggling to settle and crying more often than usual can all be signs of teething. Plenty of TLC and cuddles will go a long way to helping your baby feel better if they’re upset in this way. Distracting them with games can also help.
  • The appearance of tooth buds. This is the surest sign that your little one has been teething for the last few days – the cute, toothless grin you’ve come to be so fond of will soon be a thing of the past. You’ll spot small bumps along your baby’s gum. You might even spot a white tooth under the skin. Using your little finger, you should be able to feel the hard, sometimes sharp, tooth coming through.
  • Sore and red gums. You might notice your baby’s gums are inflamed and red in colour around the area where the tooth is pushing through. Gently rubbing your clean finger over your little one’s gums may also provide a little relief from the pain. If these sore gums are a source of distress, and non-medicinal methods like rubbing their gums haven’t provided relief - consider using a teething gel like CALGEL® teething gel to help ease the pain*. 
  • Trouble sleeping. During the day, there’s plenty to keep your little one’s mind off their sore gums. You can play games, enjoy cuddles or go for a walk with the pram. At night, those little teeth coming through may bother them more, keeping them (and you) awake. Try to stick as closely as possible to their bedroom routine. If your child is in pain and you have tried non-medicinal methods first - you may want to consider giving them a paracetamol or ibuprofen based medicine such as CALPOL® Infant Oral Suspension or CALPROFEN® Ibuprofen Oral Suspension.

 

*It contains a mild anaesthetic that can help to reduce any soreness, while a gentle antiseptic helps fight infection. For use in children over 5 months. For short- term use of no more than 7 days. Always read the label.

What are the teething symptoms for molars?

Molar teething symptoms are similar to the ones experienced when those first teeth are pushing through.

The molars are the larger teeth towards the back of the mouth that tend to come in between 12 and 18 months of age, just after the incisors.

You might find your little one displays symptoms of teething on and off until they turn three, at which point most children have developed all 20 of their baby teeth. Take a look at our teething chart to see which order baby teeth usually come in.

How to check my baby’s teeth

Sit your baby comfortably on your lap and open their mouth gently, taking care not to cause any more pain. You should be able to see their swollen, red gums at the site of the new teeth. Don’t be afraid to feel them for confirmation

Make sure you’ve washed your hands, rinsing them after in cold water. Run your clean and cool little finger along the edges of the gums to see if you can feel the teeth coming through. This might also help ease that teething pain.

Which teething treatments should I avoid?

If your baby is experiencing teething pain, certain treatments aren’t recommended. These include placing aspirin – or products including aspirin - on their gums.

Make sure your baby is as comfortable as possible and getting lots of cuddles. As a last resort, if they are still distressed, you can give them an age-appropriate pain reliever containing ibuprofen or paracetamol. Don’t give them both of these medicines together.

 

See also

CALGEL® Teething Gel
CALGEL® Teething Gel

 

Soothing dual action relief - contains an anaesthetic and antiseptic.Can be used from 5 months.
Fast-acting relief from teething pain.

Full product details

Aches & pains
Aches & pains

Every child suffers aches and pains as they’re growing up. Find out what might be causing them and what you can do to help.

More about aches & pains

Contact the NHS

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