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Brought to you by Health New Zealand | Te Whatu Ora – Southern and WellSouth primary health network

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Baby teeth start will start to appear when your child is around 6 months of age. Your child will have 20 baby teeth by around the ages of 2-3 years. Baby teeth will continually be replaced by permanent teeth when children are between the ages of 6 and 13 years old. Adults have 28 permanent teeth.  

COHS Teething

Image obtained from the Ministry of Health (2020). My Health Book - Well Child Tamariki Ora, p.27.


Teething is the natural process of the teeth coming through the gums. Teething may cause some pain and discomfort for babies and infants.

Signs your child is teething may include :                                          

  • Restlessness and crying
  • Low grade temperature
  • Desire to bite hard objects
  • Red cheeks and increased dribbling

High fever, vomiting, diarrhoea or ear infections are NOT signs of teething. See your Doctor if your baby is showing these signs or if pain and symptoms are persistent.

Managing Teething Symptoms

Some children may experience slight discomfort from teething. For temporary relief of teething symptoms :

  • Gently rub the gums with a clean finger or the back of a cold spoon.         
  • Try a solid teething toy. Avoid toys with liquid inside.
  • Always follow recommended guidelines if pain medication is required.