The arrival of your baby’s first tooth is a significant milestone, but the teething process can be a challenging time for both parents and little ones. Understanding how to help your teething baby is essential for providing comfort during this phase. In this comprehensive guide, we at Children’s Medical Center of South Florida will explore effective teething tips and baby teething relief strategies that are not only comforting but also medically accurate.

About The Teething Process

Understanding the natural process of teething is fundamental for parents as it provides valuable insights into the challenges their baby may face during this developmental milestone. Teething is a universal experience that marks the emergence of a baby’s first set of teeth, also known as deciduous or baby teeth. Before delving into teething tips, it’s crucial to grasp the intricacies of this natural phenomenon.

Teething typically commences around six months of age, although the timing can vary widely among babies. Some infants may start teething as early as three months, while others may not experience it until they are a year old. The process itself involves the gradual eruption of teeth through the gums, which, though a natural and necessary occurrence, can induce discomfort and irritability in babies.

Common signs of teething serve as crucial indicators for parents navigating this stage with their infants. One prevalent manifestation is excessive drooling, as the body’s response to the teeth breaking through the gum tissue stimulates an increased production of saliva. This can result in wetter-than-usual bibs and clothing, signaling the onset of teething.

Teething babies often exhibit heightened biting or chewing behavior as they seek relief from the discomfort in their gums. This natural inclination to bite down on various objects is an instinctual response to counteract the pressure building beneath the gumline. Providing babies with appropriate teething toys or objects can help channel this behavior into a soothing and safe experience.

Swollen gums are another telltale sign of teething. The pressure exerted by the emerging teeth can cause the surrounding gums to become red, tender, and visibly swollen. Gently massaging the gums or offering chilled teething aids can help alleviate some of this discomfort.

Fussiness is perhaps the most noticeable sign of teething, as the combination of physical discomfort and the unfamiliar sensations in the mouth can make babies irritable. Increased fussiness, coupled with changes in sleep patterns, may be indicative of teething-related discomfort. Parents should be attuned to these behavioral changes to provide the necessary support and comfort during this challenging time.

How To Help Teething Baby

Cute baby with a teething toy.

Teething Toys and Chilled Teethers

Teething toys and chilled teethers stand out as highly effective tools in providing relief for your teething baby. The pressure exerted during biting helps soothe sore gums, while the coolness of the teether can alleviate inflammation and bring comfort. When selecting teething toys, prioritize those made from safe, BPA-free materials to ensure your baby’s safety. To optimize their soothing effect, chill the teething toys in the refrigerator, not the freezer, as excessive cold can be uncomfortable for your baby’s sensitive gums.

Gentle Gum Massage

A gentle gum massage is a simple yet powerful technique for providing immediate relief to your teething baby. Using a clean finger, apply light pressure to your baby’s gums. This helps to counteract the discomfort caused by teething and can be especially effective before bedtime. Ensure your hands are thoroughly washed before attempting a gum massage, or alternatively, use a soft, clean cloth for added hygiene. This gentle massage not only eases teething pain but also serves as a comforting and bonding experience for you and your baby.

Chilled Washcloth

Another DIY solution for teething relief is a chilled washcloth. Dampen a clean washcloth, twist it, and place it in the refrigerator for a short time. Once adequately chilled, allow your baby to gnaw on the textured surface. The combination of the cool temperature and the cloth’s gentle abrasiveness can provide additional relief to sore gums. Always supervise your baby during this activity to prevent any potential risk of choking, ensuring a safe and comforting experience.

Teething Rings

Specially designed teething rings are classic go-to items for baby teething relief. Crafted from safe, non-toxic materials, these rings offer a variety of textures to provide different sensations for your baby’s gums. Opt for rings that are easy for your baby to hold onto, promoting both comfort and independence. To ensure safety, regularly inspect the teething rings for any signs of wear or damage. This teething solution not only provides relief but also engages your baby in a sensory exploration that can be both soothing and entertaining.

Pain Relief Gels

Pediatrician-approved, over-the-counter teething gels containing a small amount of benzocaine can be valuable for localized pain relief. It’s crucial to adhere strictly to the recommended dosage and consult your pediatrician before using any medication. Avoid teething gels that contain harmful substances, and never use adult gels on infants. These gels can provide targeted relief to specific areas of discomfort, offering a temporary solution during particularly challenging teething episodes. Always prioritize safety and professional guidance when incorporating teething gels into your baby’s care routine.

Tips for Teething Baby

Maintain Good Oral Hygiene

Even before the appearance of the first tooth, instilling good oral hygiene practices is essential. Begin by gently cleaning your baby’s gums after each feeding using a soft, damp cloth or gauze pad. This not only helps remove any residue but also gets your baby accustomed to the sensation of having their gums cleaned. As teeth start to emerge, make a smooth transition to a soft-bristled infant toothbrush. Incorporate a tiny smear of fluoride toothpaste, adhering to the recommendations provided by your pediatric dentist. Establishing these practices early lays the foundation for a lifetime of good oral health.

Mom helps to brush her baby's teeth.

Provide Cold Foods

Introducing cold, age-appropriate foods can be a soothing and practical way to ease your teething baby’s discomfort. Opt for chilled, unsweetened applesauce or yogurt, both of which offer a comforting and cool sensation on sore gums. Ensure that these foods are cut into small, manageable pieces to minimize the risk of choking. The cold temperature not only provides relief but also serves as a distraction, making the teething process a bit more manageable for both you and your baby.

Distraction and Comfort

Teething episodes can be challenging for both babies and parents. To alleviate anxiety and provide comfort, engage your baby in activities that serve as pleasant distractions. Gentle rocking, singing soothing lullabies, or reading a favorite story can create a sense of security during this challenging time. This not only diverts your baby’s attention from teething discomfort but also fosters a positive association with these comforting activities. Additionally, offering a clean, safe teething toy or object for your baby to gnaw on can provide relief while keeping them happily occupied.

Use Pediatrician-Approved Pain Relievers

In situations where teething discomfort becomes more pronounced, consulting your pediatrician about the use of infant acetaminophen or ibuprofen may be beneficial. These pain relievers can help alleviate more severe teething symptoms, providing your baby with the relief they need to rest and recover. Always follow the recommended dosage instructions provided by your pediatrician and consult them before introducing any medication. It’s important to note that these medications are intended for short-term use and should be administered under professional guidance.


Navigating the teething process with your baby requires patience, empathy, and a proactive approach to baby teething relief. By incorporating these medically accurate and detailed teething tips into your parenting toolkit, you can help ease your baby’s discomfort and make this developmental phase a more manageable experience for both you and your little one. Remember, each baby is unique, so experimenting with different strategies will help you discover what works best for your teething baby.

On a similar note, if you are looking for more helpful tips on teething-related pain relief or considering taking your bundle of joy to a well-child check, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with us today.