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Teething

By

Deborah M. Consolini

, MD, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital

Reviewed/Revised Sep 2023
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Topic Resources

Teething is the process in infants of tooth eruption through the gums.

Although there is wide variation, 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.

Clinicians often counsel parents that before a tooth erupts, the child may cry, be fussy, and sleep and eat poorly. Also, during tooth eruption Tooth Eruption Times Tooth Eruption Times , the child may drool, have red and tender gums, and chew constantly on objects such as toys and crib rails.

Table

Tooth Eruption Times

Teeth

Number

Age at Eruption*

Deciduous (20 total)

Lower central incisors

2

5–9 months

Upper central incisors

2

8–12 months

Upper lateral incisors

2

10–12 months

Lower lateral incisors

2

12–15 months

1st molars†

4

10–16 months

Canines

4

16–20 months

2nd molars†

4

20–30 months

Permanent (32 total)

1st molars†

4

5–7 years

Incisors

8

6–8 years

Bicuspids

8

9–12 years

Canines

4

10–13 years

2nd molars†

4

11–13 years

3rd molars†

4

17–25 years

* Varies greatly.

† Molars are numbered from the front to the back of the mouth (see figure Identifying the teeth Identifying the Teeth Identifying the Teeth ).

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 . 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 (eg, firm rubber or gel-containing teething rings) objects. 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 devices worn around the child's neck should be avoided.

Teething gels are not recommended because they are not any more effective than other measures, and some contain benzocaine. Benzocaine can rarely cause methemoglobinemia.

Drugs Mentioned In This Article

Drug Name Select Trade
7T Gummy ES, Acephen, Aceta, Actamin, Adult Pain Relief, Anacin Aspirin Free, Aphen, Apra, Children's Acetaminophen, Children's Pain & Fever , Children's Pain Relief, Comtrex Sore Throat Relief, ED-APAP, ElixSure Fever/Pain, Feverall, Genapap, Genebs, Goody's Back & Body Pain, Infantaire, Infants' Acetaminophen, LIQUID PAIN RELIEF, Little Fevers, Little Remedies Infant Fever + Pain Reliever, Mapap, Mapap Arthritis Pain, Mapap Infants, Mapap Junior, M-PAP, Nortemp, Ofirmev, Pain & Fever , Pain and Fever , PAIN RELIEF , PAIN RELIEF Extra Strength, Panadol, PediaCare Children's Fever Reducer/Pain Reliever, PediaCare Children's Smooth Metls Fever Reducer/Pain Reliever, PediaCare Infant's Fever Reducer/Pain Reliever, Pediaphen, PHARBETOL, Plus PHARMA, Q-Pap, Q-Pap Extra Strength, Silapap, Triaminic Fever Reducer and Pain Reliever, Triaminic Infant Fever Reducer and Pain Reliever, Tylenol, Tylenol 8 Hour, Tylenol 8 Hour Arthritis Pain, Tylenol 8 Hour Muscle Aches & Pain, Tylenol Arthritis Pain, Tylenol Children's, Tylenol Children's Pain+Fever, Tylenol CrushableTablet, Tylenol Extra Strength, Tylenol Infants', Tylenol Infants Pain + Fever, Tylenol Junior Strength, Tylenol Pain + Fever, Tylenol Regular Strength, Tylenol Sore Throat, XS No Aspirin, XS Pain Reliever
Advil, Advil Children's, Advil Children's Fever, Advil Infants', Advil Junior Strength, Advil Migraine, Caldolor, Children's Ibuprofen, ElixSure IB, Genpril , Ibren , IBU, Midol, Midol Cramps and Body Aches, Motrin, Motrin Children's, Motrin IB, Motrin Infants', Motrin Junior Strength, Motrin Migraine Pain, PediaCare Children's Pain Reliever/Fever Reducer IB, PediaCare Infants' Pain Reliever/Fever Reducer IB, Samson-8
Advocate Pain Relief Stick, Americaine, Anbesol, Anbesol Baby , Anbesol Jr , Banadyne-3, Benzodent, Benz-O-Sthetic, Boil-Ease, Cepacol Sensations, Chloraseptic, Comfort Caine , Dry Socket Remedy, Freez Eez, HURRICAINE, HURRICAINE ONE, Little Remedies for Teethers, Monistat Care, Orabase, OraCoat CankerMelts, Orajel, Orajel Baby, Orajel Denture Plus, Orajel Maximum Strength, Orajel P.M., Orajel Protective, Orajel Severe Pain, Orajel Swabs, Orajel Ultra, Oral Pain Relief , Oticaine , Otocain, Outgro, Pinnacaine, Pro-Caine, RE Benzotic, Topex, Topicale Xtra, Zilactin-B
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NOTE: This is the Professional Version. CONSUMERS: View Consumer Version
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