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How Long Does Teething Last?

If you've had a child, then you probably know how teething affects kids — and parents!

When it comes to teething, many parents want to know at what age teething starts and how long it will last.  While I can't give you an exact answer as to when your child will start teething and for how long, I can point out some general guidelines.

The Age When Babies Start Teething

The average baby's first tooth pokes through their gums right around the age of six to ten months.  Since all baby's get their first tooth at a different age, it may help to give a general outline of when to expect all 20 of your baby's teeth.  I mostly used the data from the ADA's Primary Tooth Eruption Chart (PDF) and have put the average age in months when each event occurs (shown in parentheses) below as well.

Around  4 to 10 months your baby will get their first teeth, the lower front two teeth, the lower central incisors.  (~8 months)

Two months later the two upper front teeth (central incisors) will come into your baby's mouth. (~10 months)

One month later, the upper lateral incisors will come in. (~11 months)

Two months later, the lower lateral incisors will come in. (~13 months)

Three months later, your baby's first molars will come in on the top and on the bottom. (~16 months)

Three months after that, your baby will get the upper canine teeth. (~19 months)

One month later, your baby will get the lower canine teeth. (20 months)

Seven months later, your baby will get their lower second molars. (27 months)

Two months later, your baby will complete their baby teeth by getting their upper second molars. (29 months)

Age Babies Start Teething

As you can see, your baby will constantly be getting new teeth over the course of about two years.  It's important to understand that while your child will keep getting new teeth during this time, they won't be teething the entire time.  Teething refers to the process by which a tooth erupts through the gums into the mouth.  This process can include some pain and discomfort, usually during the period of time before you actually see the tooth emerge from the gum.

Now that you know when to expect all 20 of your baby's teeth, let's discuss teething in greater detail.

How Long Does Teething Last?

In the late 1990's, a survey was sent out to many parents asking them about various aspects of their children's teething habits.  One question that I noticed in particular asked the parents how long their babies had teething symptoms for each tooth that came into their mouth.  Aside from a few parents that said their children didn't experience any teething symptoms (I wish I could say that!), here's what the rest had to say about how long teething lasted for their kids:

How Long Does Teething Last?

As you can see, the results are all over the place.

If you do a quick search on the internet, you come up with many interesting stories, some of which claim that teething takes over 6 months!  Take a quick look at the following comment that user chrellis_26 said on the BabyCenter website:

"My son started the teething process at about three and a half months, he was ten months old when he finally got one tooth. Lately, now at fifteen months, it can take days or weeks of irritable behavior before a tooth comes in."

I think the reason that there are so many differing opinions on this issue is because many people attribute fevers and other unexplained irritable behavior to teething.  For example, some people believe that teething can cause a high fever and diarrhea - both of which are teething myths (stay tuned for a teething myths article in the future!)

The real process of teething can cause some inflammation in the gum tissue as the tooth pokes through.  Personally, I believe that teething would normally last from about 1-7 days per tooth.  Several months of teething pain seems a bit far-fetched.  The only authoritative quote I could find on this subject comes from the book Paediatric Dentistry, edited by Richard Welbury.  It states:

"Inflammation of the gingival tissues before complete emergence of the crown may cause a temporary painful condition that subsides within a few days."

Sometimes babies can get multiple teeth at the same time, so it may seem like teething is taking forever, especially when you're waking up at all hours of the night to comfort your little bundle of teething joy.

Conclusion

To sum it up, teething will be occurring over and over from a week or so before your baby gets their first tooth and until a week or so before your child gets their last baby tooth — right around the age of 2 ½.

Do you have any questions about teething or any experiences to share?  I'd love to hear about them in the comments section below.  Thanks for reading!


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12 Comments |  Leave A Comment

  1. Thanks for the information. Very helpful!

  2. Hi
    My son was teething since he was 5 months old and just last week he got his first tooth on the bottom. Tonight I noticed two teeth are out on the top. Is that normal??? Pls let me know.

    Thanks,
    Grace

  3. Hi, I'm wondering if teething symptoms last after the teeth bud and continue to grow. Thanks!

  4. Well my twins began teething at 2 1/2 months and have been (so far) for a month, as they are now 3 1/2 mos. We still see no teeth, just inflammed, raised sore gums. I was born with teeth so it must be hereditary. I think they may be getting a few teeth come in because it has been a crazy month!

    • We can barely handle one child at a time, Shawna! I don't know how you manage teething with twins. Good luck!

      • Thanks Tom! It's been hard. They still don't have any teeth & it almost looks like the inflammed areas include a whole bunch of the lower teeth! Yikes! I can see them through the gums but not close enough to the surface to break through. These last few days they're feeling ok one day, no drooling/chewing and then the next day it starts again! I do hope this doesn't go on too much longer. It's heart-breaking to see them in pain and their little eyes actually cry tears. I have been giving them very small amounts of children's tylenol on the bad days and I just hate doing so but it's the only thing that helps them. I am exhausted and miss their constant smiles!!!

  5. I highly recommend hylands teething tablets-we went through one teething episode without them and learned our lesson! They have worked wonders for our little guy. We give him 2-3 before bed and compared to when we didn't he sleeps soooooo much better! Our pediatrician approved them but do note they are not approved by FDA. Good luck - at least it is temporary.

  6. My son is 8 months old and has recently gotten his 2 bottom teeth... He showed no signs of teething until they piped through 6 days ago, since then his irritability level has gone through the roof. I'm wondering if they're still considered teething pains even though they have already popped through.

    • Well my dear the irritability may last until they get them all ;< My twins now have all of their teeth except the last 2 molars popping thru! *WHEW* What a loooong year! It seems that the days/nights when they were the worst was when the teeth were cutting thru the gums because the next day...there they were and they were a little calmer. The irritability will go up and down and up and down. It just goes with the teeth...which I have also learned actually go back (recede) and forward. If you have ever seen or get a chance to see a Panoramic x-ray of a child's teeth it is kinda freaky LOL. When you do see one you get a better understanding of it all. I did anyway and it looks painful. All the teeth jammed in their poor little jaws. Google Childs Panoramic Xray. It's interesting!

  7. My son is 3months going on 4months Friday and but I do believe that he is teething really bad but am not sure and could he be teething this early!!

    • Hi Christa! He probably has started teething. My twins both started teething at 2 1/2 months and they've been through so much pain ;< I know that babies can start very early. I was born with teeth and my husband started teething at 3 months and it is hereditary. All I can stress is just that if your babes has started early then he will be finished earlier and that's good. I have had my babes out and about and people have been amazed at the mouth fulls of teeth they have at their age but they are almost finished, molars and all. I figure get it over with LOLOL. There was sleepless nights, drooling, crankiness, biting (ouch), some diarrhea that burnt but it's all part of it. Whatever you do....don't give your babes HYLAND Teething Tablets!!!!! I had so many people pushing them on me saying they are all natural.....LOL...well so is Marijuana! What is in these types of teething tablets is 'Belladonna' and it causes the babes to feel 'high'. Belladonna is a drug from a plant containing 'Atropine' and it is deadly! It was pulled from the shelves years ago but has somehow made it back and I don't agree with giving babes drugs especially lethal ones. \it doesn't help the pain, it just makes them feel stoned. During my twins bad nights/days I gave them a minute amount of children's tylenol (for babies) and I didn't even give them the full dose....just a few drops and that helped them through this. Hope this helps and hang in there. Some babes suffer more than others. Mine had it bad but they got through it. Just have patience and give them lottsa cuddles and tell them it's ok. Wish you all the best!

  8. My second son is 10 weeks old and yesterday started having excessive drooling, irritable behavior (fussier than normal), gnawing on his fingers, my fingers anything i would put in his mouth, he was being super fussy while nursing rooting and ripping at the nipple so I would give him something else to chew on like my finger and he would be calmer gnawing on that for a little while. This is my second child and these signs point to teething from my experience. now my first got two teeth in two days when he turned 4 months old, so a little on the young side. could it really be possible for a 10 week old to be teething? oh and his gums look similar to the ones in pictures on your article about teething.

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Tom, Creator of Oral AnswersHi, I'm Tom. I recently graduated from dental school and am now a dentist in Bridgewater, Virginia. I started this blog to help people take better care of their teeth. You can learn more about me or ask me a question.

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