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Teething – What to Expect?

Posted in:MomsDadsHealthy Smiles


Cute black baby with teething rings

Teething begins when a tooth breaks through the gums. Teething can be a difficult time for the infant and adults.  Infants can become fussy, have trouble sleeping, drool more than normal or lose their appetite.

When to expect the first tooth?

The age that the first tooth appears is different for each baby.  Many babies get their first tooth between ages of 6 and 12 months of age. The first teeth to appear are normally the lower or upper front teeth.  By the age of 3, most children will have a complete set of 20 baby (primary) teeth. Don’t panic if a tooth peaks through early before 6 months or waits until closer to 12 months.  The timing for teeth to appear is unique to your child.

Teething. What helps?

If your child’s gums are swollen and tender, gently rub or massage the gums with a clean finger or give your child a teething ring made of firm rubber to chew. Make sure the teething ring does not contain a liquid and is not frozen. Don’t risk using a liquid teething ring that could puncture and seep liquid into your baby’s mouth. A frozen object can stick to the baby’s lips or mouth and if the object is too hard, it can hurt your child’s gums.

What to avoid?

Soothing children’s gums with prescription or over the counter (OTC) drugs that contain benzocaine (Anbesol, Baby Orajel, Cepacol, Chloraseptic, Hurricaine, Orabase, Orajel, and Topex), homeopathic drugs, or teething jewelry marketed for relieving teething pain may seem like good options but those products can be dangerous and can lead to serious injury or even death.


If you have concerns about your infant tooth development or pain during teething, schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist or inquire with your child’s pediatrician.

© 2024. Delaware Division of Public Health.