What is Teething?
A baby is said to be teething when their first set of teeth, known as primary teeth, break through and emerge from their gums. Teething generally starts around the age of 6 months. Every child gets all the 20 primary teeth by the time they reach the age of 3 years. The lower frontal teeth generally surface first and the upper frontal teeth follow and appear in the next 2 months. The baby experiences swelling and soreness of the gums before a tooth emerges. These teething symptoms commonly start to appear 3 to 4 days before the tooth shows up and disappear once the tooth breaks the skin and emerges out. The infant starts to drool usually during the teething phase and even bite their toys and their own fingers in order to relieve the pressure on their gums. Because their mouth hurts, some babies also refuse to drink or eat and experience a general loss of appetite during teething. While some babies remain unaffected by teething, others become fussier than usual. Mild symptoms are not a cause of concern as they usually relieve on their own in time. However, parents should seek medical attention if these symptoms do not get better and keep aggravating over time. A doctor should be consulted immediately if the baby gets diarrhea, fever and rashes appear on the chest, face and skin.
How Long Does Teething Last?
All the milk teeth appear by the time a child turns 3 years. There is no surety about the time it would take for a tooth to make its way through the gum. While some infants stay unhappy and uncomfortable only for a few days before a tooth appears, there are others for whom this experience becomes a rather prolonged affair. After the first set of teeth get through, the baby may again experience a similar difficult phase around the age of 1, as this is the time when their molars are due to emerge. Molars can cause considerable pain and discomfort since they are the largest of all the teeth and are located at the back of the mouth.
What Are The Remedies For Symptoms of Teething?
It is not at all difficult to judge when a baby starts teething. They mostly become sleepless during the night and irritable through the day. Following are some remedies, tips and tricks to keep the baby comfortable in their teething phase.
- Provide clean silicon based teething ring and other safe objects for the baby to chew on. Refrigerate the ring before giving it to the baby, as a cool object brings added relief to the baby during teething.
- Gently rub the infant’s gums with a cold and clean finger for about 2 minutes at a time. Although they may protest at first, most babies tend to find this practice soothing and relieving for their gums during the teething stage.
- If required, an over-the-counter pain reliever can be given to the baby. This medicine should be labelled for the specific age of the infant who is undergoing teething.
Things to Avoid During Teething
Aspirins should never be administered to babies and neither should any type of gel be applied on their gums for reducing pain. The gel can lead to numbness in the infant’s throat and cause difficulty in swallowing. The medicine in the gel can also be potentially harmful for the baby’s health.
Teething is generally an unsettling and painful experience for a baby and the new teeth can fairly explain why the baby feels apparently unwell and discontented. Even after accepting the fact that teething can be difficult, you as a parent will always be eager to know how long the teething phase will last. You should, however, just relax and remember that along with being a painful experience for your baby, the teething phase is a momentous time too. It is the time when the baby needs plenty of your love and lots of cuddles as their tiny pearly whites push through their baby gums.