Along with the excitement of seeing the new phase in the baby’s milestone, the eruption of new teeth comes over the distress, of a period of irritability and discomfort for the little one. Most babies’ sprout their first teeth with no distress at all; while for some it isn’t a lot of fun.
It is a time of excitement for the parents knowing that their babies have started teething. The teeth begin to appear when the baby is between 6 months to one year. Most of the children have their full set of 20 teeth by the time they are 3 years.
Children have a different pattern of tooth eruption, but usually, the first tooth to appear is located in the top front and the bottom front of the mouth.
Common Symptoms Of Teething
Different children suffer from different symptoms of teething , the intensity also varies. The common symptoms presented by most of the children during teething are:
- Red and swollen gums
- Heavy dribbling
- Gum rubbing
- Biting and sucking
- Red, flushed cheeks
- Disturbed sleep
- Irritable and unsettled
- Not feeding well
- Slight fever
Teething leads to a slight rise in temperature, no other serious illness. If you suspect something else, consult a pediatrician for the advice.
Why Is Teething Painful?
Baby teeth start developing in the womb itself, the tooth buds start developing. Teeth emerge through the gums. That is why it can cause them to be painful, tender and swollen.
When the gums are painful the baby might even turn away from breastfeeding or the bottle feed.
How To Ease Teething Distress?
The tenderness of the gums can be eased by something cool. Giving the baby something cold to bite on can relieve the pressure on the gums and soothe the inflammation present. The following things can be tried.
- Rub a clean finger over the sore gums to temporarily ease the pain
- Silicone teething ring can be given to the kid. You can put it in the fridge before giving to the baby. This can numb the pain. Avoid giving the liquid filler teething products, as they can leak.
- If the baby has weaned, you can try giving a banana or a cucumber. Do not give anything which can break into pieces and choke the baby. Also, be around even while the child has soft food in hand.
- If the child uses a feeding cup you can fill it up with chilled water.
- If old enough for the solid food, yogurt and fruit puree can be given a try.
Teething gels are available, which contain mild anesthetic and an antiseptic. This can prevent infection and ease the pain. A small amount can be rubbed with a clean finger around the gums. This can numb the pain for a short period of time.
Often the effect of the gels wears off quickly as it gets washed away with the baby’s tongue and saliva.
You can also choose from the sugar-free option available. Do not get tempted to apply it frequently. It is recommended to consult a doctor before starting using any gel or ointment.
Though not much has been researched on the same, some parents use homeopathic or herbal granules and swear by their effectiveness. They come in the form of small tablets and granules and can be mixed with cooled, boiled water. Always check with the professional before starting any kind of medication.
Sugar can cause tooth decay, therefore always opt for the sugar-free options.
In some parts of Europe, the babies are made to wear amber bracelets, anklets, or necklaces. It is thought that amber releases a small amount of amber oil into the skin, which has pain-relieving properties.
Ibuprofen or paracetamol can be given. Do not give them together, check with the doctor for the dosage information.
Teething can make the baby uncomfortable and make the gums sore. But all the symptoms do not make the baby ill. If the baby is unwell, has a fever, talk to the doctor. Maybe there is some other reason.
If you know the baby is pushing the first tooth out, learn about the various options to ease the discomfort, if felt. Also, consult a paediatrician for the same.