What is Teething?
Teething in babies can come with discomfort and pain. Even so, babies are different and occurrences and symptoms can differ.
Firstly, teething is the appearance of teeth on the gum by breaking through. It can be one milestone that parents look forward to alongside walking. Particularly, primary teeth appear between the ages of 4-24 months of baby growth.
During pregnancy, a mother’s diet should be well balanced as it influences the development of baby teeth. Unquestionably, the diet alongside other nutrients should contain Calcium, Vitamin C, Phosphorous, and Vitamin D.
When do Babies Start Teething?
Parents may have different experiences with several babies. Although, the first teeth appear between the ages of 4-7 months and are visible at the center of the bottom gum.
These baby teeth are known as central incisors. Notably, some babies get their first tooth as early as 3 months.
In addition, in 4-8 weeks later the four upper teeth which are the central and lateral incisors follow.
After a month one will notice the baby is developing the lower lateral incisors and then back molars and lastly the pointed teeth.
The molars are important as they are used to grind the food while the baby chews. This being said, some parents get worried when the baby has not developed all the first 20 teeth by their third birthday. Babies are different but if it becomes a cause of concern talk to your doctor to check if they are growing properly.
Importantly, a baby’s development is controlled by many factors and may not necessarily follow the prescribed chart of development.
What are the Signs of Teething in Babies?
Babies love exploring with their mouths. Also, teething can come with itching and discomfort of the gums.
Undoubtedly, the baby may start trying to eat your face, putting fingers in the mouth, or have a lot of saliva.
Additionally, the baby may have swollen and tender gums in the places where the tooth wants to erupt.
Let us look at how the first 20 primary baby teeth can be grouped, as indicated below:
- 4-second molars
- 4 first molars
- 4 canine teeth
- 4 lateral incisors
- 4 central incisors
Children are different and the teeth can start appearing at different times. Moreover, if by one year you do not see any tooth in your baby’s mouth check with your doctor.
How to Deal with Baby Teething Discomfort
Babies may experience teething differently. Teething occurs earlier on in the baby’s first months and by the 6 year, he/she will start shedding and getting permanent teeth. Regardless, teething is a normal part of baby development.
Despite this one can manage the teething discomfort in the following ways:
Massage Baby Gums
When you notice discomfort from your baby during teething, you can massage the gum with clean fingers.
The pain and discomfort can be stressful to the baby and need to be soothed. Furthermore, one has the option of using home remedies or seeking medical care if the baby becomes irritable.
If you do not want to rub your finger on the baby’s gum used a moistened gauze pad to put pressure on the gum which will relieve the pain.
Give Chewing Toys/Teething Devices
We have teething rings that help the baby during this period. The rings can be chilled and given to the baby to keep his/her mouth cool which eases the discomfort as an alternative to your massaging.
It should be noted, that you can also give a clean cold cloth or towel to relieve the discomfort. Unquestionably, the cloth should be chilled not frozen.
We also have teething devices that vibrate and massage baby gums. Add them to things that soothe baby’s gum in your next shopping spree.
Fluoride can be acquired from tap water or through supplementation. Give plenty of clean tap water to the baby. Not only, does the presence of fluoride assist in teeth development, harden the baby’s teeth but also prevents decay.
For the first 6 months, the baby is breastfeeding hence getting natural immunity from the mother’s milk but as soon as you introduce solid food ensure to give enough tap water.
Have baby bottles with measurements to monitor the amount of water your baby consumes daily when eating solid food.
Check also with your doctor if the baby is getting enough fluoride minerals from the tap water. If not the doctor may recommend supplementation.
Subsequently, brush your baby’s teeth as soon as they appear. Use a bit of fluoride toothpaste to clean your baby teeth to prevent tooth decay. Continue doing this until he/she is old enough to clean them alone.
Give Hard Foods
If your baby has been introduced to solid food, add to the diet, hard foods that he can chew and gnaw at.
For instance, peeled carrots, cucumber, and teething biscuits. Supervise your baby when chewing on hard foods to prevent choking. Firstly, put them in an approved meshed feeding bag before feeding.
See a Doctor
If you have tried every home remedy to manage the discomfort and still the baby gets more irritable it is good to see a doctor.
Some babies may experience a fever although it may be a sign of infection not because of teething.
The doctor will be in the best position to give an appropriate dose of medication to your baby after identifying the problem. Furthermore, the doctor will check your baby’s weight and size to determine the right dosage of medication.
It is good to visit the pediatric dentist to check if your baby’s teeth are healthy and normal. During this visit, he may also recommend a fluoride varnish for your baby which helps in preventing tooth decay.
This can be done immediately after the first tooth appears.
It is not all babies who experience discomfort during teething. In fact, some babies go through this stage without any issue.
Do not give medication without your doctor’s advice if the baby has discomfort and fever.
Obviously, one may want to give over-the-counter medicines to ease the pain quickly but do not.
We have teeth tablets, gels that contain benzocaine and belladonna, used to numb baby pain but can have serious side effects. Better safe than sorry. Seek advice from your doctor before using anything.
To prevent any skin irritation due to excessive drooling caused by teething, wipe the saliva, put a bib over her clothing, and apply some ointment on her mouth.
Lastly, do not use teething necklaces or bracelets which also can be harmful as they can cause strangulation or choke the baby hence we do not recommend them. Use a teething ring instead.