When your child starts teething, it can be very frustrating to see them in discomfort. However, it’s all part of growing up and your baby is getting ready for solid food. In this article, we’ll look at what teething is, how long it lasts and how you can soothe your baby. Your complete teething guide is here!
What is teething?
The process through which an infant’s teeth erupt, or emerge through the gums, is known as teething. Teething is often referred to as “tooth cutting.”
When does teething start?
Teething usually begins between the ages of 4 to 7 months, although some babies start much later. There’s no need to be concerned if your kid’s teeth appear on a different schedule as every infant is different.
Some babies start teething early, and it’s typically nothing to be concerned about. However, if your child begins to exhibit indications of teething around the age of two or three months, they may be ahead of the curve in this area.
How long does teething last?
Teething in babies usually lasts until the child is 25 to 33 months old. However, teething doesn’t technically end until a child’s permanent molars appear. The first set of molars emerges at the age of six or seven, while the second set develops around the age of twelve or thirteen.
Signs of teething in babies
Some babies teeth without any problems while other fuss due to discomfort. Here are some symptoms that might indicate that your baby’s teeth is growing:
Excessive drooling is an indication of teething. Drooling due to teething can begin as early as 10 weeks of age in some newborns and persist throughout the teething period.
When a baby is teething, it’s typical for them to slobber all over their shirt. However, do note that drooling excessively can also create a rash around your baby’s neck, chin, and mouth. So, try to keep their skin dry and always change your infant’s clothes if it becomes soaked with drool.
An increased desire to bite is one of the earliest indications of teething. Counterpressure can be used to reduce the pressure that a soon-to-erupt tooth produces.
Counterpressure is putting force or pressure that acts in the opposite direction of another opposing force or pressure.
To break it down, by giving something for your child to bite down, like a teething toy, you are actively putting pressure on the growing tooth, soothing the process for your child.
Teething babies will instinctively seek items to bite down on to obtain counterpressure and ease their discomfort.
Getting irritated and crying
A significant change in your baby’s temperament is one of the most prevalent indicators of teething. Even the happiest infant might become fussy and unsettled during this time.
Your child may cry more frequently as well. This mood shift is usually more noticeable in the weeks immediately up to the eruption of their first tooth, and it gradually improves with successive teeth.
Teething infants may tug on their ears or rub their cheeks. This is because the neural pathways in the ears, mouth, and cheeks are all connected.
Teething discomfort can be felt in the cheeks and ears as well as in the jaws. These feelings are particularly strong in babies who are cutting their first molars.
Because this symptom can also be a sign of an ear infection, you should see your paediatric specialist if the problem persists for more than a few days.
Change in eating and sleeping habits
Because sucking can be unpleasant to teething gums, a teething child may struggle to breastfeed or drink from a bottle. In addition, if they’re older, they may avoid solid meals that they formerly enjoyed.
Teething pain might make it difficult to sleep. Even babies who previously slept through the night may become more awake during the night due to teething.
Photo by Matt Walsh on Unsplash
Fear not if your baby is teething! The following are some ways that can help soothe your baby:
Massage the gums
Gently touch the gums with a clean finger to massage them. This can help with the itchiness, pain or discomfort your baby is experiencing. If your baby’s teeth haven’t come in yet, you can let him chew on your finger.
Dip your fingers in cold water and massage your baby’s gums before each meal if you’re breastfeeding. This may prevent them from biting your breast when you’re feeding.
Teething rings or toys
Teething rings are meant to offer counterpressure to a baby’s gums, reducing the unpleasant pressure from the growing tooth. Keep a clean supply of these rings on hand in the house and in the diaper bag to calm your baby at home and on the road.
Even better are products that may be frozen since the cold numbs their painful gums and gives further comfort.
Parents are advised to try non-medical teething solutions first, such as a teething ring.
If you decide to use a gel, make sure it’s a teething gel made specifically for youngsters under the age of six.
Children should not use general oral pain relief gels. Teething gels are only available from pharmacies and include a moderate local anaesthetic. For further information, consult your doctor.
Teething pills have been available since the early 1900s and are available online and in certain drug shops.
They’re tiny white pellets composed of homoeopathic components that dissolve quickly in your baby’s mouth or can be put in with their milk or water. But, again, check with your baby’s doctor before giving them to your baby.
Are teething gels or tablets safe for my child?
Parents and caregivers should avoid using benzocaine products on children under the age of two, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
These medications pose severe health hazards and offer little to no assistance in treating oral discomforts, such as sore gums in teething infants.
After lab testing revealed inconsistent levels of belladonna, a poisonous chemical, in certain homoeopathic teething pills, the FDA advises parents not to use and dispose of homoeopathic teething tablets.
How to care for my baby’s new tooth?
Long-term dental health depends on how well you care for and clean your baby’s teeth. Although the initial set of teeth will fall out, dental decay accelerates the process, causing gaps before the permanent teeth are ready to emerge.
Even before your baby’s first tooth appears, you should start caring for their teeth daily. Using a clean, moist washcloth or gauze, wipe your baby’s gums every day, or gently brush them with a soft, infant-sized toothbrush and water.
Once your child is old enough to spit out toothpaste, which is generally around the age of three, it’s fine to use it.
Choose one that contains fluoride and give smaller children only a pea-sized quantity or less. Because an excess of fluoride can be hazardous to children, don’t let your child swallow the toothpaste or consume it straight from the tube.
Brush your baby’s teeth at least twice a day, especially after meals. This is even more important when all of their teeth have come in.
It’s also critical to instil the habit of flossing in children at a young age. When two teeth start to contact, it’s a good time to start flossing. For help to floss those small teeth, consult your dentist.
Teething is a normal part of growing up, so don’t be anxious when your kid starts doing so. Just follow the steps explained above and you can help your child get through this journey smoothly.
A little advice would be to have a dental checkup schedule for your child regularly. This can promote proper tooth development and prevent dental issues later in life. Learning to become a parent for the first time can be challenging.
Here are some tips that can help you.
Disclaimer: You are not allowed to share this article on any other website or on Facebook without providing proper credit and the original article link on theAsianparent Malaysia website
Read more: Teeth grinding – why it happens and what you can do about it
Read more: Mum freaks out when her 2-month-old grows a sharp tooth overnight
Read more: Brushing baby teeth: When to start and best ways to do it