Teething Problems

Some babies seem to sail through it and some really seem to suffer.

Dr Sharryn Gardener

Lots of symptoms get put down to teething, usually rearing their head around that 4-7 months age range.

What sort of symptoms are there?

Flushed cheeks, crying, dribbling, chomping on seemingly anything & everything, fussiness, sore red gums. 

Teething is actually an amazing process! We think of it as teeth sitting there ready to pop through and suddenly get activated and rise like a volcano. It’s so much more sophisticated! They’re not said to erupt for nothing!

Before they are ready to make an entrance all of the teeth are constantly shuffling into the right positions as the jaw is growing quickly at the same time. They start off encased in the bone of the jaw, and much like the uterus changes in preparation for delivery, it completely changes to allow them to come through. The bone above them is reabsorbed and the soft tissue creates a path and so it is only the final eruption that we are actually even aware that the process is going on.

So what can we do to help them through this?


Distraction can be your friend. White noise, singing may be enough.

Providing a teething ring (or similar) and using a (clean) finger to massage the gums gently. Use the solid rather than gel-filled rings and then can even be kept in the freezer – just check regularly that it hasn’t been damaged by chewing. 

Washcloths dipped in water and frozen can also help massage the tender gums – make sure they have no holes or loose threads.

They may be distressed with pain and need Calpol or Ibuprofen – always try soothing first.

Remember all of that dribbling can make their delicate faces very red and sore so wiping it away and using moisturiser can help.

Remember teething is a programmed process and it will end! Hang in there and try and maintain routines as much as you can – and be kind to yourself when that’s just a bit too much.