Teething is the process of primary (baby) teeth pushing through the gums into a child’s mouth. It is a natural event that every baby goes through, and it may be painful for your baby. The average age for the first set of teeth to arrive is around six months, but children vary. You may notice the following in your child:

  • Irritability
  • Increased saliva
  • Low grade fever

However, teething should not be used to explain any and all illnesses that your baby experiences around this age. High fevers or pain from ear infections can often be mistaken for teething pain, but are not related, and you should contact your pediatrician for their care.

Treatments to ease teething pain include:

  • Massaging your baby’s gums gently with a clean finger
  • Allowing them to chew on cool things like wet washcloths or smooth hard objects (make sure these items are not a choking hazard)
  • Benzocaine numbing gels—these may relieve pain temporarily, but they also will leave baby’s mouth numb. Some babies dislike this feeling worse than the pain. There also is a small risk of allergy to these products.