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Why Does Teething Hurt For Babies?

Teething, a developmental milestone in a baby’s life, marks the emergence of those adorable pearly whites. Typically beginning around six months, this process involves the gradual eruption of tiny teeth through the gums. As parents eagerly await those first smiles, it’s essential to understand the nuances of teething to provide the best care and support for our little ones.

The Teething Process & Stage

Teething is a significant milestone that begins around 6 months, as your baby’s first set of teeth starts to emerge. During this period, you might notice increased drooling and a desire to chew on objects. This natural process can lead to sensitive gums and discomfort for your little one. To alleviate these symptoms, consider introducing safe teething toys or gently massaging their gums.

The Teething Stage: 0-6 Months

In the initial months, your baby’s gums may become more sensitive as teeth begin to make their appearance. While actual teeth might not be visible, the teething process sets the stage for the subsequent months.

The Teething Stage: 6-12 Months

Between 6 to 12 months, the teething stage intensifies. Your baby’s first teeth, typically the lower central incisors, start emerging. Increased drooling, irritability, and a keen interest in chewing on objects are common signs during this period.

The Teething Stage: 12-24 Months

As your baby progresses into the second year, more teeth come into play. The upper central incisors, lateral incisors, and first molars usually make their appearance. This period might bring additional challenges, but maintaining good oral hygiene becomes increasingly important.

The Teething Stage: 24-36 Months

The final stretch of the teething stage sees the emergence of canines and second molars. By the age of 3, your baby’s primary teeth set is usually complete. Focus on teaching good oral care habits as your little one explores the world with a full set of teeth.

Why Does Teething Hurt For Babies

The discomfort babies experience during teething can be attributed to various biological factors. Firstly, as those tiny teeth emerge, they exert pressure on the gums, leading to inflammation and heightened sensitivity. Additionally, the movement of the teeth through the jawbone can irritate. Infants, with their developing nerve sensitivity, may experience increased sensations during this phase, contributing to the perceived pain.

The release of inflammatory substances in the gums further intensifies the discomfort associated with teething. Importantly, there are individual variations in pain perception among babies, meaning that some may find the teething process more distressing than others. Understanding these biological factors allows parents to empathize with their little ones and find effective ways to alleviate teething-related discomfort.

Coping Strategies for Teething Pain

A must-try approach is introducing safe teething toys and objects. These not only provide a soothing outlet for biting but also encourage healthy oral development. Chilled teething rings and other cold items are another go-to solution, offering relief to those tender gums. For additional comfort, consider over-the-counter teething gels and medications, but always consult with your pediatrician before use.

Gentle gum massages with clean fingers can work wonders in alleviating discomfort – your touch is a source of reassurance. Lastly, embracing proper oral care practices, even before those first teeth fully emerge, sets the foundation for a healthy and happy smile. These coping strategies, coupled with your love and attention, will make the teething process more manageable for both you and your little one.

When to Consult a Pediatrician

It’s essential to know when to seek guidance from a pediatrician. If your baby experiences persistent or severe symptoms such as prolonged irritability, disrupted sleep patterns, or swollen gums, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional. Additionally, if there’s a delay in the eruption of teeth beyond the typical timeframe, reaching out to your pediatrician can provide valuable insights.

It’s crucial to discuss any concerns you may have about using medication or remedies to ensure they align with your baby’s health needs. Your pediatrician is your ally in ensuring your baby’s well-being during this developmental phase. Remember, it’s always better to seek professional advice and address any uncertainties promptly.

Tips for Parents

First off, be patient and understanding – teething might make your little one fussier than usual. Comfort and a little extra TLC go a long way. Next, start oral hygiene early. Even before the first tooth shows up, gently wipe your baby’s gums with a clean cloth. Once teeth arrive, introduce a soft toothbrush and age-appropriate toothpaste.

Lastly, instill healthy habits early on. Limit sugary snacks, promote water intake, and schedule regular dental check-ups. Your proactive approach makes the teething journey more manageable and sets the stage for a lifetime of good oral health.

Why Does Teething Hurt For Babies


Understanding the teething process, recognizing signs and symptoms, and employing effective coping strategies are crucial aspects of this developmental phase. From safe teething toys to regular oral hygiene, these practices contribute to your baby’s well-being. We want to reassure you that the challenges you face are normal, and with patience and understanding, you’ll navigate this period successfully.

Parenthood is a journey filled with growth and learning, and your dedication to your little one’s oral health is commendable. We hope this guide has armed you with valuable insights, providing the knowledge needed to support your baby during teething. Remember, you’re doing an amazing job, and your love and care are the greatest tools in ensuring your baby’s healthy development.

Looking for a Dentist for Your Teething Baby? Contact us today!

If your little one is going through the teething phase and you’re on the lookout for a reliable pediatric dentist in Portland, Oregon, Roots Dental is here for you. With four convenient locations across the city, finding the nearest dental care for your baby is easy.

Head to our All Locations page to discover the Roots Dental clinic closest to you and contact us right away with our friendly dental team. We specialize in children’s dentistry, ensuring a comfortable and caring environment for your child’s oral health journey.

Learn more about Children’s Dentistry Services.