Symptoms of a teething infant or baby. What to do when my child is teething

Got teeth?! What to do when your child is teething

Do you think your child may be teething? Whether this is your baby’s first tooth or the last, we’ve got some tips for you that will make the experience much more pleasant. Learning these tips is going to make your life much more pleasant and hopefully save you several sleepless nights and maybe a few headaches too!

The Baby Tooth Timeline

Experts agree that most babies follow this general timeline for teeth:
• 6 months: lower central incisors
• 8 months: upper central incisors
• 10 months: lower and upper lateral incisors
• 14 months: first molars
• 18 months: canines
• 24 months: second molars

Your child’s teething timeline may vary a bit from the list you see above but that is a good guideline to follow. Some teeth can poke through the gums fairly quickly while others may take quite a while to poke through. If the teeth come in quickly, teething may not be too painful for your baby. However, if the teeth grow in slowly, a wide range of symptoms such as fevers, pain, redness and swelling may occur.

The Symptoms of Teething

If your child is experiencing symptoms of teething, here are some things you can do to help! If the symptom your child is experiencing isn’t listed here, call our Pediatric Dental Office in Salt Lake City at (801) 281-8881.

Excessive Chomping or Chewing

We often see babies have a need to chew or chomp on several things to take away the pain. The pain of a tooth erupting from the surface is often relieved by counterpressure, which is why babies often chew on a variety of things. Give your child a cold chew toy to help soothe their gums.

Puffy or Swollen Gums

Your baby’s gums can become inflamed or swollen before the new tooth pokes through the gums. If your child is irritated by the swelling or is showing signs of pain, try offering a cool washcloth for them to chew on. This will help soothe the pain and relieve swelling. It may even help the tooth penetrate the gums more quickly.

Excessive Drooling

Excessive drooling is a common sign of teething in infants. While this symptom likely won’t cause your child any discomfort, you may want to keep a bib and cloth handy for your sake.


Babies will start to fuss a lot when they are uncomfortable. If your child wakes up at night while they are teething, try using some numbing ointment on the gums. There are infant-approved numbing creams you can safely use to provide your baby with a few minutes of relief.

Give us a call or send us a message using the contact form on this page if you’d like any recommendations for numbing ointment.

Ear Pulling

Often times, the pain your baby may experience from teething can extend up through their jaw and into their ear canal. If this happens, your child may begin frequently tugging on their ear.

If your child has a fever and is tugging on their ear, this may be an indication of an ear infection instead of teething pains. If that is the case, call your child’s doctor as soon as possible.

Change in Eating Habits

When babies are in pain, they can struggle to eat. You need to monitor your child’s eating habits to ensure they are getting enough fluid and food.

How to Help Your Infant

If your baby is teething, you can find yourself trying a number of things to help them feel better. We recommend trying a few tips we have used on our own children for years:
• Give your baby a wet, frozen washcloth to chew on to numb sore gums and help reduce swelling.
• Try using a pain reliever like Acetaminophen and ibuprofen to provide temporary pain relief. These medicines can reduce problems with fevers as well.
• Massaging the gums is another way to help your infant when they are teething. Rubbing the area with your finger is a simple way to help your child feel better.

When to Call the Dentist

If you are concerned the teeth are taking a long time to erupt, or your child has red, swollen gums that seem to be lasting for several days or weeks, call our team Redwood Pediatric Dentistry. We understand what it’s like to deal with a teething child and want to help you out in any way we can!

If your child isn’t experiencing any of these symptoms now, keep our number on hand for future reference. (801) 281-8881

Schedule an appointment at our Salt Lake City Pediatric Dental Office today!