Teething is a first significant milestone in the path of development of a baby, usually starts around 6 months of age, a complete set of 20 primary or first teeth usually develops by age three. However, Biology is the science of exception, every child grows at his own pace, my son had his first pearly whites at the age of 14 months. So, first of all, be relax if your kid has not started tooth eruption at the age of six months.
A baby is born with tooth germs of milk teeth, embedded in their jaws. With time germs start their journey to erupt in the mouth, accompanied by an array of signs and symptoms. The intensity of symptoms while teething may vary from baby to baby. Some kids may be easygoing on teething, may not present many symptoms. Also, your tiny soul may not have much discomfort while small front teeth cutting through gums as compared to large teeth. The period of time that tooth eruption occurs can be very frustrating and stressful for parents, especially the first-timers. So, here is a quick guide how can you soothe and help your baby to ease out the discomfort of teething.
Teething brings about the plethora of symptoms in your baby :
Though local reaction of teething is well acknowledged. It is still a controversial issue that teething can cause systemic disturbances. As around six months of age, passive immunity due to maternal antibodies wanes. This can become a reason for a wide variety of other childhood illnesses. So, teething cannot be blamed as a sole culprit to all sufferings a baby bears.
- Sucking fingers, biting and sucking upon an inanimate object
- Rashes and fissuring on the area around mouth due to excessive saliva production.
- Irritability or fuzziness
- Loss of appetite for solid foods and increased thirst,
- The rise in body temperature
- Sleeping disturbances,
- Ear rubbing
- Local symptoms: redness, rashes, swelling, ulceration of the gums.
How to deal with teething problems
We can treat the symptoms by the pharmacological or non-pharmacological approach. But I don’t recommend self-medication of child at home. Please visit a doctor and don’t give any medicine to a kid without being prescribed.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends offering parental reassurance, massaging the gums, using teething rings and using acetaminophen for 24 hours for the associated pain.
Give a gentle massage to sored gums of your baby with a chilled spoon/clean finger for one to two minutes.
Give something to bite upon.
As the child is feeling itchiness in gums. Biting upon things can temporarily relieve symptoms and soothe pain, itchiness by applying pressure to sore gums. You can give following things to your kid.
Teething babies love to chew and bite on anything. Teething rings can provide temporary pain relief.
To get maximal relief, chill the teething rings to freezing temperatures first. The cold temperature of the object causes localized vasoconstriction, which decreases the inflammation.
Make sure teething ring is made up of inert material.
Teething rings are made of different types of plastic. Approved teething rings do not cause cavities or choking.
Do not attach teething rings around the neck of the child, should be attached to the child’s clothes. This is to avoid the risk of strangulation and the ring being repeatedly lost in bedding or being dropped.
Do not choose fluid-filled teething rings, which may leak due to breakage orbiting. Solid silicone rings are preferable.
Liquid-filled teething rings should be chilled in the refrigerator, not in the freezer, and should not be sterilized in boiling water or in the dishwasher (unless specified by the manufacturer).
Food for Chewing:
Hard sugar-free teething rusks/ breadsticks
Only if your kid is over six months of age Avoid foods that are too hard as these could bruise the gums and cause further pain.
Frozen fruit and vegetables e.g., peeled cucumber, frozen bananas.
Supervision is needed to ensure that small pieces of food do not break off and pose a choking hazard.
Soothing Sore Chins:
Excessive saliva, drooling and dribbling out of the mouth can irritate babies’ chin, the area around mouth, neck and chest. The soft skin of baby may become dry, chapped and sore. Do not forget to apply a simple barrier cream.
Wipeout drooling saliva with a soft and clean cloth.
Love is great medicine, it can work wonders for your kid in a hard time of teething. A little extra tender loving care can ease your baby’s pain. Try to distract your child from the pain with activities such as reading, singing or playing or engaging in activities, your baby love to do.
This will provide more objective pain relief for longer duration and aim at either numbing the area or eliminating pain. Visit your doctor. Your doctor may prescribe preparations of analgesic gels containing paracetamol, ibuprofen and choline salicylate, applied on the sore gums.
Do not self medicate your baby
Teething preparations should be kept out of reach of children to eliminate the chance of overdose.
Medicines for teething should not be added to a feeding bottle or food because it is difficult to monitor the dose given. Additionally, the active ingredient of the medication could interact with food.
Don’t apply alcohol to the mucous membrane of an infant, it has no pain-relieving effect.
Do not add honey, jam or sugar to a feeding bottle, or dipping a pacifier in a sugary food substance. These remedies have no pain-relieving effect and can cause dental decay and pain.