Pediatric Dental Specialists of Atlanta

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Teething

For new parents, the emergence of their baby’s first tooth is a significant, albeit sometimes anxious, milestone. While teething marks an important developmental stage, it can bring discomfort for some babies, though not all experience pain. Fortunately, there are effective ways to ease your baby’s teething discomfort.

Teething is the process of baby teeth breaking through the gums, typically starting between six to nine months of age, but it can vary from as early as three months to as late as one year. The first teeth to appear are usually the lower front teeth, followed by the upper front teeth, with most children having their full set of 20 primary teeth by age 3.

Signs of Teething

Look out for these common teething indicators:

  • Increased fussiness
  • A tendency to bite and chew on objects
  • Excessive drooling, which may cause a chin rash
  • Gum swelling
  • Rubbing their ears
  • Less interest in eating
  • Changes in sleep patterns


These signs typically become noticeable around four days before the tooth appears and can last up to three days after.

An uncommon condition related to teething is an “eruption cyst,” a fluid-filled sac over a tooth about to erupt. Generally, these cysts resolve on their own as the tooth breaks through.

Symptoms like diarrhea, rashes outside the chin area, and fever are often mistakenly attributed to teething but are usually indicative of unrelated illnesses and should be discussed with a pediatrician.

Easing Teething Discomfort

Relief for teething often comes from applying cold and/or pressure to the gums through:

  • Chilled teething rings
  • Cold, damp washcloths
  • Cooled pacifiers
  • Gently massaging the gums


Avoid freezing teething aids to prevent gum burns. Traditional methods like applying alcohol to the gums are outdated and not recommended. For over-the-counter remedies, consult your pediatrician or pharmacist for appropriate dosages, and be cautious with numbing agents for children under 2, unless advised by a doctor.

If you have concerns or questions about teething, our office is here to help. It’s advisable to schedule your child’s first dental visit by their first birthday to begin a lifetime of good dental health practices. We’re excited to welcome your little one to our practice!