a baby smiling, showing her teeth

Once a Baby Tooth Breaks Through, Does It Still Hurt?

As parents, one of the many mysteries we encounter while raising our little ones is the question of baby teeth. You might have wondered, “Once a baby tooth breaks through, does it still hurt?”

This is a common concern among parents who want to ensure their children’s comfort and well-being.

In this article, we’ll dive into the world of baby teeth, exploring when and why they might cause discomfort and how you can help your child navigate this critical developmental milestone.

Understanding Baby Teeth

a woman with her baby holding a toothbrush in front of a mirror

Baby Teeth: Nature’s Precious Pearls

Baby teeth, also known as primary teeth or deciduous teeth, are the first set of teeth that emerge in a child’s mouth.

They typically start appearing around the age of six months and continue to appear until the child is around three years old. These tiny treasures play a vital role in a child’s overall development.

The Dental Timeline

Understanding the dental timeline is crucial when addressing the question, “Once a baby tooth breaks through, does it still hurt?” Let’s take a closer look at how baby teeth make their debut:

Eruption Phase

This is when baby teeth begin to push through the gums. The process can be uncomfortable for some children, while others may not even notice it. During this phase, the tooth starts its journey from beneath the gumline and gradually emerges.

  • Timing: The first tooth typically appears around six months, but it can vary widely from one child to another.
  • Order: Teeth tend to emerge in a specific sequence, often starting with the lower front teeth (central incisors) and followed by the upper front teeth.

Shedding Phase

As children grow, their baby teeth loosen and eventually fall out to make way for permanent teeth. This phase is usually painless and signifies the natural progression towards a more adult-like smile.

  • Timing: Baby teeth start shedding around the age of six or seven and continue until the early teenage years.
  • Permanent Teeth: Permanent teeth gradually replace the primary teeth over several years.

Once a Baby Tooth Breaks Through: The Discomfort Dilemma

The Teething Troubles

Once teeth start to break through, parents usually begin to wonder if their child’s discomfort is over once it breaks through their gums. Teething can indeed be a challenging period for both infants and their caregivers.

The following are some of the symptoms that can take place during teething:

Gum Sensitivity

As teeth emerge, the gums can become swollen, red, and tender, causing discomfort. Aches in the jaw and gums can result from the pressure the erupting tooth exerts.


Babies may become fussier than usual due to the discomfort they’re experiencing. Sleep disruptions and changes in mood are common during this phase.


Excessive drooling is a common teething symptom that can lead to skin irritation around the mouth. Keeping a bib handy can help manage this drool fest.

Biting and Chewing

Babies instinctively try to alleviate the discomfort by biting and chewing on objects. Providing safe and clean teething toys can be a lifesaver.

So, How Long Does the Pain Last?

While every child is different, most children will experience some discomfort both before and after the tooth emerges. You can typically expect about a week of discomfort for your child, with the tooth breaking through the gums somewhere in the middle to end of this week. While the majority of the discomfort takes place before the tooth breaks through, there is bound to still be some discomfort as the tooth continues to emerge in the coming days.

Pain Management Strategies

To alleviate your child’s teething discomfort:

Teething Toys

Specially designed teething toys can provide relief by allowing babies to chew and soothe their gums. Ensure they are free of small parts and regularly cleaned to maintain hygiene.

Cold Compress

Applying a cold, damp cloth or teething ring to the gums can reduce inflammation and numb the area, offering temporary relief.

Over-the-Counter (OTC) Pain Relief

Consult your pediatrician before using any OTC pain relief medication for your child. They can recommend safe options and dosages.


Sometimes, a change in scenery or engaging in playful activities can help divert your child’s attention from the discomfort.

Gentle Massage

Gently massaging your baby’s gums with clean fingers can provide comfort. Make sure your hands are clean to maintain hygiene.

Bright Healthy Smiles: Your Child’s Dental Care Partner

a little kid during a dental procedure

At Bright Healthy Smiles, we understand the unique dental needs of children, including the potential discomfort associated with teething and baby teeth.

Our dedicated team is here to provide top-notch care to your little ones.

Each team member has chosen to work with us because of their love for children and passion for dental care. Their expertise and personal characteristics make them well-suited to care for our young patients and their families.

Our therapy dog–Eloise is trained to make your child feel at ease, ensuring a positive dental experience that fosters a lifelong commitment to oral health.

We are here to support your child’s dental health journey every step of the way.

Schedule an appointment with us today!


In the world of parenting, many questions arise, especially regarding your child’s health and comfort. Teething pain is undoubtedly a valid concern, as the teething phase can be challenging for both infants and caregivers.

However, with the right knowledge and strategies, you can easily help your child navigate this developmental milestone.

Remember to consult your pediatrician or dentist if you have specific concerns about your child’s teething experience. They can offer support to you and your child on the journey to a lifetime of healthy smiles.

So, the next time you wonder about those tiny pearly whites and their potential discomfort, rest assured that you are well-equipped to handle the joys and challenges of parenting.

Your child’s smile is worth every moment of care and attention.


Can teething cause a fever?

While low-grade fevers can sometimes accompany teething, they are not usually severe. If your child has a high fever, consult a healthcare professional to rule out other causes.

Can teething affect my baby’s eating habits?

Yes, teething can sometimes impact a baby’s eating habits. As their gums become sore and tender during the teething process, they may experience discomfort while chewing or sucking.

Can teething cause diarrhea or diaper rash?

Teething isn’t a direct cause, but increased saliva can lead to mild digestive changes or skin irritation. Consult your pediatrician for persistent issues.

Is it normal for teething to disrupt my baby’s sleep patterns?

Yes, teething can affect sleep with more night waking or shorter naps. Consistent routines and teething remedies can help.

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