A child's first tooth usually erupts by 6 months of age, and a complete set of 20 deciduous teeth usually develops by 2½ years of age.
Before a tooth erupts, the child may cry, be fussy, and sleep and eat poorly. During tooth eruption Tooth Eruption Times , the child may drool, have red and tender gums, and chew constantly on objects such as toys and crib rails. Teething does not cause fever Fever in Infants and Children Normal body temperature varies from person to person and throughout the day. Normal body temperature is highest in children who are preschool aged. Several studies have documented that peak... read more .
Tooth Eruption Times
Age at Eruption*
Deciduous (20 total)
Lower central incisors
Upper central incisors
Upper lateral incisors
Lower lateral incisors
Permanent (32 total)
* Varies greatly.
Children who have fever and who are especially fussy should be evaluated for a viral or bacterial infection, because these symptoms are not caused by teething.
Teething infants get some relief from chewing on hard (eg, teething biscuits) or cold objects (eg, firm rubber or gel-containing teething rings). Massaging the child's gums with or without ice also may help. Children may be treated with weight-based doses of acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
Teething gels are not recommended because they are not any more effective than other measures, and some contain benzocaine. Benzocaine can rarely cause methemoglobinemia.