Most pēpi (babies) start to show their pēpi teeth when they are around 6 months old. As the teeth push through their gums, pēpi can become irritable. They may have unsettled sleep, drool or dribble more and may go off their food a bit.

When teeth come through

The lower (bottom) front teeth usually come through the gum first. These are followed by the upper (top) front teeth. The picture below shows when each tooth usually appears.

The bottom front teeth come through at 6–10 months, and the top front teeth at 8–12 months. Then, the top teeth on either side at 9–13 months, and the bottom teeth on either side at 10–16 months. The first top molar teeth come in at 13–19 months. The first bottom molars come in at 14–18 months. Then the top canines at 16–22 months and the bottom canines at 17–23 months. The last bottom molars come through at 23–31 months, and the last top molars at 25–33 months.

Symptoms of teething

Many babies’ teeth come through without any problems. But for some, the gums swell and become sore as teeth break through. Your teething baby may:

  • cry
  • have a slight fever
  • have red cheeks
  • drool
  • not eat or sleep well
  • want to bite something hard.

Relieving teething symptoms

If your pēpi is upset, gently rub their gums with a clean finger or the back of a cold spoon. You can also wrap ice cubes in a wash cloth and place the cloth on your baby’s cheek. Give them something to chew on, such as a clean teething ring. You can also buy teething gels from your chemist.

If your pēpi has a lot of pain, bleeding or pus in their gums, or swelling in the mouth or face, get help from a doctor or nurse or call Healthline on 0800 611 116

Related websites


Free basic oral health service, advice about cleaning and looking after teeth, healthy food for healthy teeth.

New Zealand Dental Association

See the section on infants’ and toddlers’ teeth, and the Lift the Lip video.

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