One of the many things that parents dread is to see their child uncomfortable. Yes, they may not know how to communicate how they feel, but through their cries, sleepless nights, and crankiness, a caring parent or guardian may realize their discomfort. One thing that can make them feel uneasy before they even turn a year old is teething.
At around 6 months, as an infant undergoes his development, his teeth, one by one, erupts from his gums. For first-time parents, the struggle to overcome this early stage may feel distressing. But you can make it easier for your child. As long as you know the signs that your baby is teething, you can plan to provide soothing and ease to your child. Read on to know more about teething – we’ll tell you the signs to watch out for and give tips on how to soothe a teething baby.
Your child undergoes odontiasis, or the normal eruption of teeth in the gums, typically at around 6 months. Expect that your child will have 20 baby teeth, with the two bottom-front pearly whites as the first ones to appear.
Some babies experience early teething at around 4 months, while some have theirs later than 6 months. Your pedia dentist would not consider this a problem for as long as their spacing and alignment are spot-on.
Signs your baby is teething
Just as their skin tone, voice pitch, and hair color are different, babies have varying levels of teething symptoms as well. While some take their tooth eruption calmly and stress-free, others have their parents panic with worry. Once your child reaches the fourth month, here are some signs that you should watch out for to know if your little one is teething.
Talk about being cranky! Your smiley, pretty baby can turn into an irritable, whiney one once the first tooth erupts. Some would require more hugs and become clingier than usual.
You may notice that your baby starts to flood your shoulders or even his bib. If you notice his clothes (or yours) are getting unusually wetter, then maybe his tooth is beginning to bother him.
When cleaning his mouth after every feeding, you may notice that his gums are redder and more swollen than normal.
Have you experienced a toothache in the middle of the night? If you can feel discomfort even though you can care for yourself independently, imagine how hopeless an infant would feel during his teething. He is unable to communicate his feelings except for his endless cries. If your baby cries nonstop, be more patient as that’s the only thing he can do to show you that he needs help.
Because your infant’s sensitive gums bother and irritate him, your little one may lose his appetite. At 6 months, babies get introduced to solid foods. If he begins teething and it troubles his gums, even sucking on your breasts or milk bottle nipples may seem painful.
If your child seemingly sees everything like food and starts to bite anything around his mouth (yes, even your shoulder), then you may think that his teething has already begun.
Some parents may have a misconception that fever, diarrhea, and mouth sores indicate teething. The truth is these symptoms point toward the presence of a possible infection and not teething. Consult your pediatrician as soon as you notice these abnormal symptoms that can add to your little one’s irritability and discomfort.
How To Soothe A Teething Baby
If your baby shows signs that his teeth have to come out, we can give you tried-and-tested tips on how to soothe a teething baby effectively.
Wet, clean cloth
If your baby begins to be mouthy, not with words but with the way he bites on things, give him a clean cloth to gnaw on. Inflamed gums may feel itchy sometimes, so let him have at it with the cloth. Just make sure that you replace it regularly once soaked.
Once your child reaches 6 months, you can allow him to have frozen or cold healthy delights. Refrigerate some fruit slices, baby food, or yogurt and offer one to him when he starts crying. You can now buy a teether and pacifier in one, looking like a popsicle with a mesh material where you can put your fruit inside. The pulp and other peel stay inside the cloth, allowing your child to sip and extract the cold juice from the fruit.
Have your baby bite on soft biscuits to ease off the itch from his gums. Just make sure that you wipe his gums off any crumbs or morsel after every feeding. Your dentist may also recommend brushing after every meal to prevent early tooth decay.
Teethers and soothing toys
Buy your child colorful teethers, teething mittens, and soft toys that they can munch on while teething. You may need to put some in the ref, especially those water- or gel-filled teethers that provide cold relief to your little one’s swollen gums. Just make sure you know how to clean and sanitize them after every use to ensure your infant’s overall health and wellness. Since teethers filled with water or gel may easily burst, pedia dentists recommend using silicone ones instead.
Soothe your baby by continuously providing comforting hugs and kisses. Paying attention to a cranky baby gives him the feeling of security and relief.
If all else fails, you can ask your pedia dentist for a prescription of pain relievers or anti-inflammatory medication to help your baby calm down and sleep. Let this be your last resort, as teething discomfort is not a disease to cure but a normal bodily discomfort to alleviate.
How To Soothe A Teething Baby: Things To Avoid
As parents, you want your child to stay happy and cheerful, even during the teething period. Many would resort to planning an easy way out during this dental development. How? Parents and caregivers alike often mistake giving oral products such as numbing gels and teething tablets that promise instant relief of gum irritation.
As soon as it hits the fan, many parents tried using brands like Baby Orajel, Anbesol, or Hurricane, thinking that their efficiency equals their safety. However, the FDA released a report that discourages using such oral gels and other products because they contain benzocaine.
On the other hand, oral teething tablets found to contain traces of belladonna, a toxic substance that can easily put your child’s health in danger, also got banned by the FDA. If you do not want to compromise your little one’s safety and well-being while teething, allow your dentist to check on them and recommend further care instructions. If you have more questions about your child’s dental issues, make sure to talk to your child’s dentist as soon as possible.