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Teething

By

Christopher P. Raab

, MD, Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University

Last full review/revision Apr 2021| Content last modified Apr 2021
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Topic Resources

Teething is the process of tooth eruption through the gums.

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.

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.

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.

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