Teething: Whether It Hurts and How to Treat It?
Finding out what is making your baby uncomfortable is a frustrating task. Limited communication means parents have to use a lot of trial and error before getting familiar with the common issues with toddlers.
Teething is when babies grow their dentition. The effects of this development vary among children, but there are characteristics common to most of them during this period.
This article discusses the details and shares tips on how you can provide some relief for your irritated baby at this stage.
When Does Teething Start?
Babies start growing teeth anytime between 3 and 7 months after birth.
Central incisors are usually the first set to come through the gums. These are the two front teeth found at the bottom.
The ones at the top also follow a couple of weeks later. Two more will then grow below to complete your baby’s set of front teeth.
Molars are next to develop to help the child grind food, with the pointy ones in the upper jaw following almost immediately. Kids usually grow all their primary teeth before age 3.
There are situations when some babies are born with teeth or grow them very early. Although it is rare, it happens and should not be a source of worry for the parents.
Does Teething Hurt?
Teething is painful, and your child’s reaction can be frustrating.
During this time, it is common for babies to be fussy. They usually lose their appetite and have trouble sleeping. Drooling is also more than regular.
It is necessary to know what to expect at this time and how you can help make your child more comfortable.
How Do You Treat Teething Pain?
The effects of teething are manageable in many ways. Below are some hints to help you soothe your child's pain at this stage of development.
- Massaging Gums
Rub your teething baby's gums with a clean finger for pain relief. If the teeth have not emerged well enough, you can also allow the baby to chew on your finger. It also has a massaging effect on them.
Breastfeeding mothers can dip their hands in cool water to knead the gums of their kids before nursing them. This simple technique reduces the likelihood of the babies biting their nipples.
- Chewing Object
Consider giving your baby something to gnaw on when they are irritated.
Experts recommend a clean wet cloth, pacifier, or teething toy. The trick is to refrigerate them to make them cold but not freezing. You don’t want to give your infant something very hard as it may hurt them instead of soothing their pain. Remember to clean the object after your baby has used it each time.
- Teething Biscuit and Cold Water
Teething Biscuits are specially made for babies at this stage to chew. Cooling them provides more relief for your child. You can also give your baby cold water in a sipping cup if they are old enough.
Methods to Avoid
Seeing your child in pain might influence you to try almost anything you come across that promises to be of help.
Regardless of the situation, the following guidelines will help you ensure that you don’t harm them unintentionally.
- The chewing object you give to your baby should not be too small for them to swallow or choke on.
- It is also good if the item can’t break into smaller bits.
- Avoid using teething tablets or gels. Many substances are not safe for kids at that age.
- Never rub aspirin or alcohol on your baby’s gums or growing teeth.
- Without extra care, teething necklaces and rings can strangle your child.
How to Care for Your Baby’s Teeth
Excellent dental health at a young age can have long-term benefits for your child’s teeth. In infants, this process begins even before their first set of choppers emerge.
Be careful with how you care for your baby’s teeth. They are sensitive and delicate, so certain actions might end up causing more harm than good.
- Wipe your baby's gums daily with a damp cloth or gauze even before it starts teething. Ensure that this is clean before sticking it in your child's mouth.
- Clean your baby’s first set of teeth with a small amount of fluoridated toothpaste and a soft brush.
- Use more toothpaste when your kid becomes old enough to spit it out. Remember that a fluoride overdose can be harmful to them.
- Switch to brushing twice a day after all their teeth have come out. Do this usually after meals.
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