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Care at Home

  • WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:   * Teething is a natural process.   * It's harmless and it may cause a little gum pain. * The main symptoms of teething are drooling and rubbing the gums. * It does not cause fever or crying. If these are present, look for another cause. * Here is some care advice that should help.
  • GUM MASSAGE:   * Find the irritated or swollen gum.   * Rub it with your finger for 2 minutes.   * Do this as often as needed.   * Putting pressure on the sore gum can decrease pain. * Age over 12 months. You can use a piece of ice wrapped in a wet cloth to rub the gum.
  • TEETHING RINGS: * Babies rub their own sore gums by chewing on smooth, hard objects. * Offer a teething ring, pacifier or wet washcloth that has been chilled. Chill these items in the fridge. Do not use items frozen in the freezer.   * Age over 12 months. A piece of chilled banana may help. * Do not use hard foods that could cause choking. An example is a raw carrot. * Do not use ice or popsicles that could cause frostbite of the gums.
  • CUP FEEDING: *  If your baby refuses nipple feedings, try a cup. * A spoon or syringe can also be used for a short time as needed.
  • PAIN MEDICINE: * Pain medicines usually are not needed for the mild discomfort of teething. * Fussiness often gets better with gum massage. If not, you can give acetaminophen OR ibuprofen as needed. See Dose Table. Just do this for one or two days. (Reason: Frequent use can cause liver or kidney damage). * Special teething gels: Not advised. They are not approved by the FDA until after 2 years old. Reason: Teething gels contain benzocaine. They can cause choking, allergic reactions and other side effects. Also, teething gels only give brief pain relief.
  • CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF: * Crying occurs * Fever occurs * Your child becomes worse
  • WHAT TO EXPECT: * Most often, teething does not cause any symptoms. * If your child is having some discomfort, it should pass in 2 or 3 days.


The information contained in these topics is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.

Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or discontinuing an existing treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Nothing contained in these topics is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment.

  • Not a Substitute - The information and materials in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker should not be used as a substitute for the care and knowledge that your physician can provide to you.
  • Supplement - The information and materials presented here in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker are meant to supplement the information that you obtain from your physician. If there is a disagreement between the information presented herein and what your physician has told you -- it is more likely that your physician is correct. He or she has the benefit of knowing your child's medical problems.
  • Limitations - You should recognize that the information and materials presented here in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker have the following limitations, in comparison to being examined by your own physician:
    • You can have a conversation with your child's doctor.
    • Your child's doctor can perform a physical examination and any necessary tests.
    • Your child could have an underlying medical problem that requires a physician to detect.
    • If your child is taking medications, they could influence how he experiences various symptoms.

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