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What is teething?

Teething is a process of tooth eruption in infancy and early childhood. It is commonly associated with discomfort and pain.

When do we know the child may be teething?

Teething may cause :

  • excessive salivation
  • disturbed eating and sleeping patterns
  • desire to chew
  • extreme irritability
  • slight increase in body temperature

Teething is never the cause of more severe disturbances such as high fever and diarrhoea. If the child appears to be very ill, the parent should bring him to see a paediatrician immediately.

What can you do to relieve the symptoms?

Give hard and safe objects for the child to bite on such as water-filled teething ring. You may also rub some teething gel over the affected gums.


Be careful of teething gel as the child may swallow with excessive use.

Sequence of eruption

The following is a general guide for eruption dates of milk teeth.

Upper central incisor

Upper lateral incisor

Upper canine

Upper first molar

Upper first molar

Teeth Eruption date (months)
Incisors 6 – 9
First molars 12 – 15
Canines 18 – 20
Second molars 24 – 36


Last reviewed : 20 April 2012
Writer : Dr. Che Noor Aini bt. Che Omar
Accreditor : Dr. Chew Yoke Yuen
 Reviewer Dr. Laila bt. Abdul Jalil