Signs of teething

Signs of Teething...

Symptoms can last for just a few days, right around the time a new tooth is emerging, or for as long as several months if a lot of teeth come through all at once. For a few lucky babies (and parents), teething doesn’t cause any noticeable signs at all. What’s tricky is that there’s no single set of teething symptoms.

One-third of the kids might drool, another third might be irritable, and another third might have trouble sleeping.”

Here’s a list of teething symptoms:

  • Drooling
  • Irritability
  • A tooth visible below the gum
  • Swollen, bulging gums
  • Trying to bite, chew, and suck on everything she can get her hands on
  • Rubbing her face
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Turning away food
  • Grabbing her ears

If you notice several of these symptoms together, it’s more likely that teething is to blame, but there’s always the chance that it’s something else.

Disturbed sleep

Teething can be a painful process, and this can keep your baby awake at night. So if your baby is suddenly finding it hard to settle down and rest, teething could be the cause. Try to stick to your baby’s bedtime routine and give her comfort if she is unsettled.



All babies drool a little, but a teething baby will often end up with a very wet chin! Extra drool can make your baby’s chin sore, so dab it dry with a soft tissue as often as you can. Put a smear of petroleum jelly on your baby’s chin for extra protection.


Flushed cheeks

Rosy-red cheeks are a common sign of teething. Your baby’s cheeks go red because the tooth that is coming through the gum can cause irritation. You may notice that your baby’s cheeks also feel warm.


Chewing fingers

Chewing helps to relieve the pain and pressure of teething, so you may notice your baby trying to soothe herself by chewing on her fingers. Try to keep your baby’s hands clean so that she doesn’t swallow any germs.


Chewing objects

Babies love to put put things in their mouths, but if your baby has started to nibble on anything she can get her hands on, she may be teething. Try giving her a teething ring, or a cold piece of carrot to gnaw on. This will help to soothe her gums.

Swollen gums

Swollen, red gums are a sure sign of teething. Gently rubbing your clean finger over her gums may help to soothe them.


Being fractious

The pain from teething can make your baby irritable, and she may cry more. If your baby is upset by teething, cuddles and kisses are the best cure.


Inconsistent feeding

Sore, swollen gums can make sucking painful for your baby. If your baby is hungry, but keeps coming off your breast or bottle, she may have a tooth coming through. If your baby has started solids, try feeding her cold apple puree or plain yoghurt.

Tooth buds appearing!

If you look into your baby’s mouth, you may see little tooth buds. These buds will look like small bumps along your baby’s gum. If you run a finger over them, you may be able to feel the hard tooth underneath.



What’s not from teething

If your baby has diarrhea, a fever, or a runny nose, don’t dismiss it as a sign of teething, especially if the symptoms last longer than 24 hours.

Even though plenty of parents swear these symptoms seem directly related to their child’s teething, there’s no scientific proof that they are linked. Experts including the American Academy of Pediatrics say fever and diarrhea are not normal teething symptoms. One of many possible explanations for these symptoms is that teething babies frequently put things in their mouth to soothe their gums, so they’re coming into contact with more viruses and other germs.

If your child has a rectal temperature of 101 degrees F( 38.3 degrees Celcius) or higher (100.4 degrees F or higher for babies younger than 3 months) and also has other symptoms, such as lethargy, lack of appetite, vomiting, or diarrhea, call her doctor to rule out anything more serious.


When to worry about a late teether

The first pearly white typically peeks through when a baby is between 4 and 7 months old, but it’s also perfectly normal for it to show up quite a bit later. If your child’s teeth are slow to appear but her bone growth, skin, and hair are normal, there’s likely nothing wrong. But if your baby reaches 18 months with no tooth in sight, mention it to her doctor – she may refer you to a pediatric dentist.

Late teething doesn’t signal a problem with a child’s overall development. And there’s actually a potential upside to being a late bloomer: The later these teeth come in, the less time they have to develop decay before they fall out and make way for a child’s permanent teeth.


Read next Caring for your babies’ gum and emerging teeth

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