What is teething?

Teething is a natural process, but each baby’s experience is different. Some babies may have no symptoms, while for others it may be unpleased and painful.

Signs of teething:

  • Drooling
  • Chews on fingers, toys and other objects
  • May have rosy cheeks
  • Seems to be in a bad mood and cries often
  • Does not want to eat (but may want to nurse more)
  • Cold or flu-like symptoms
  • May have red, swollen, sore gums inside the mouth where the teeth are going to break through
  • Diaper rash

*Fever, coughing, running nose or diarrhea can all be signs of a serious illness. If your baby shows any of these signs, contact your local health centre.

Tips for teething:

  • Rub the gums with a clean finger
  • Rub the gums with a cool facecloth
  • Allow your child to chew on a cold (not frozen) teething ring or wet facecloth (the facecloth can be put in the fridge to cool it down before use).

Here's what you should not do:

  • Do not use gels that numb – they may numb the throat and increase the risk of choking while feeding.
  • Do not give your baby teething biscuits. They may cause choking and tooth decay due to high sugar content.
  • Do not use teething rings that tie around the baby’s neck. This is a choking risk!

If you have questions about your baby’s teeth, talk to your health care provider or dental professional.