“You are my favorite adventure!”, goes the most common baby room quotes. But for the sleepless nights, messy days, hard work and anxiety the adventure brings along. One such common struggle that new parents and infants face is teething.
What is teething?
It is the phase where the infant develops her first set of teeth. This also happens to be a tough time on some kids to cope with and the struggle thus affects the new parents.
What are the typical signs of a teething child?
- Mild Fever
- Decreased Appetite
- Runny nose
- Increased Drooling
- Pulling of the ears
- Crankiness and discomfort with the pain in some babies causing them to have sleepless hours at night.
- An urge to gnaw, chew or bite stuff they hold on to
- Mild rash around the mouth due to skin irritation secondary to excessive drooling
When need to seek medical attention
Though it is normal for the baby to experience the above signs and symptoms along with greenish poop in some babies, Rashes, Diarrhea and prolonged fever are signs that are not to be misunderstood and needs medical intervention. Seek for a pediatrician’s advice. Myth- The process of teething is not causally related to vomiting. As several pediatric dentists have noted, “Teething does not cause fever, runny nose, cough, or diarrhea. Teething causes teeth.” Diarrhea during teething is mostly because of the urge in the child to put anything into the mouth to chew and calm the gums and pain.
How do I help my teething kid in pain, relieve him of the discomfort?
- Give the baby a chilled fruit.
- Soothe the sore gums with a cold washcloth
- Massage the gums gently with hands or baby finger brush (Be careful while you massage, some babies might bite )
- Provide a good teether to chew on, a piece of carrot and fruit popsicles made without sugars are the best natural teether choices.
- A good wooden teether can also be a wise choice. Prefer teether that can be given cold.
- A small cold spoon can also be given for the child to hold on to.
- Always remember to have a check on the things that goes into the child’s mouth. Keep them regularly washed, cleaned and dried. It is important that such baby stuff is kept free from mold and fungal growth.
- Always go for natural, organic and child-friendly non-plastic products. It is safer and healthier for the child. In other options, please look for items that are BPA free.
- Fancy stuff like teething bracelets or chains is usually not recommended as they can pose a choking hazard, straining the neck or threat of swallowing, if accidentally cut.
Why does teething hurt so much?
Your baby’s teeth started developing while she was in your womb when tooth buds were formed in her gums. Now her teeth are emerging through her gums. This is what’s causing them to be painful and perhaps tender and swollen. Pressure on your baby’s teeth from chewing may relieve her pain. Nonetheless, your baby’s gums will be particularly sensitive. This is why she may turn away from your breast or a bottle when she’s teething.
Order of the tooth eruption
When and how teeth erupt can be different for every baby and may be based on family history. But most of the time, the two lower central incisors sprout in first, followed by the two upper central incisors and next to the two upper lateral incisors on either side. Next erupts the two lower lateral incisors, followed by the first molars. Canines are next, and the second molars are the last ones to come by. In all, 20 “baby teeth” will eventually be in place, usually by age 3.
Yaay! So, there is a new tooth now! But, how to care for them?
After every feeding and every morning, gently wipe and massage the tooth with fingers and with a clean wet cloth. This will prevent debris from settling in the mouth and keep the mouth in good health. When your baby’s first teeth appear, use a small, soft-bristled toothbrush to clean his or her teeth twice a day. Until your child learns to spit — at about age 3 — use a smear of fluoride toothpaste no bigger than the size of a grain of rice. Then switch to a pea-sized dollop as your child approaches 2 to 3 years of age. Infants and children should never take a bottle to their crib or bed. The formula, breast milk, cow’s milk, soy milk, and juice all can be associated with cavity formation. Ingestion of sticky fruit (such as raisins) or other foods heavily laden with sugar (such as candy) is also associated with an increase in cavity formation.
A healthy dental care routine from childhood helps set the stage for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.
And So, Have Fun until the adventure lasts and happy parenting!