When your baby enters the teething stages, the first primary teeth, commonly called “baby teeth,” penetrate through the gums. This usually occurs at the age of about six months. However, some babies teethe as early as during their third month. Others may not begin the teething process until their twelfth month of age. Howearly teething stages can you help make teething as easy as possible for your infant? There are various ways to make your child more comfortable throughout this period so he or she can gain bright, healthy new teeth with a minimal amount of discomfort and lack of sleep. Every baby is different, experiencing different degrees of discomfort during the teething period. For this reason, you should try multiple methods to relieve your baby’s teething pain or bothersome symptoms. Just remember—it will all be over in three years when all primary teeth have arrived, and the first couple of teeth are the most troublesome ones for babies and parents to deal with.
What Are Early Signs That Your Baby is Teething?
Many babies cry or become irritable and fussy during the onset of teething. By examining your baby’s gums, you can identify any redness or swelling just before a new tooth breaks through the gum tissue. The signs are often visible a few days before the tooth appears, and they subside after the tooth comes into place. Most infants have increased biting and chewing tendencies during this period. They may chew on fingers, toys and any objects small enough to put in their mouths. If your baby constantly bites and chews, but will not eat food or drink liquids, this is usually a definite sign that he or she is beginning to teethe. While biting and chewing can reduce pressure on your infant’s gums, food or drinks may increase gum pain. Most babies also drool, sometimes excessively, while they are teething, so you may want to use protective skin creams and gels on your infant’s face and chest to prevent rashes and skin irritations. Your baby may also have difficulty sleeping during early teething stages.
Why is Teething Painful for Your Infant?
As the first primary teeth start to push against and break through your baby’s gums, your child first experiences gum swelling and irritation followed by pain. Although the pain subsides during the first couple of days after a tooth appears, the surrounding gums can stay sensitive for a few more days. As you know, biting and chewing can alleviate some of your baby’s discomfort while teething. However, sucking on a pacifier or bottle nipple may increase gum sensitivity and soreness since it draws more blood to irritated gum areas. Luckily, gum tissue is resilient and heals rather quickly, so your small child’s pain and discomfort will lessen soon after early teeth pierce the gums.
What Are Best Methods for Soothing Your Baby’s Teething Pain?
During teething, give your infant appealing objects to chew on like safe teething rings specially designed to prevent gum and mouth irritation. It is essential to provide your baby with safe chewable objects so he or she will not chew on sharp, hard or unhealthy objects around your home. Some babies like teething rings that have been chilled slightly in the refrigerator, but never put a teething ring in the freezer. If the ring hardens in freezing temperatures, it may scratch or irritate your baby’s gums. Give your baby soft foods to chew on like bananas, chunky applesauce, finely chopped apples or pureed peaches. Feeding your baby yogurt is also soothing to sensitive gums. If your infant insists on chewing fabric, you can soak a clean washcloth in cool water and let him or her chew on it. You can also rub your baby’s sore gums very gently with a damp, soft cloth to alleviate pain and to comfort your child.
What Are the Primary Teething Stages and How Long Do They Last?
Most babies get their lower central incisors, or lower two front teeth, during their first six to ten months. The upper central incisors, or upper two front teeth, usually appear at age eight to twelve months. Next come the lateral incisors and cuspid teeth (the next two teeth on both sides of the central incisors) at age nine to 23 months. The first and second molars usually arrive during a child’s first 13 to 33 months of age. Your baby may reject any remedy and just want a good cuddle. The good news is that your baby’s first few teeth will probably be the worst. Her next few teeth may come through more easily.
How Should You Clean and Care For Your Baby’s New Teeth?
If your infant develops intense pain or any fever during teething, you should consult your doctor right away. Milder pain can often be treated with use of infant paracetamol, infant ibuprofen or a teething gel. Never give a small child medication intended for adolescents or adults. If your child will drink cool water, this can be soothing to pain during teething and can help lower any fever. To clean your baby’s first teeth, massage the teeth and gums very gently with a damp, soft cloth. To keep baby teeth healthy, you can add a small drop of toothpaste to the damp cloth, then massage again with a clean cloth. Once gums are free of swelling and irritation, you can use a soft-bristle toothbrush designed for infants to clean new teeth. Your baby should have his or her first visit with your family dentist within the first six months following the appearance of the first primary tooth. Of course, this important event calls for lots of love, encouragement and a celebration for baby afterward.
Holladay, Utah Pediatric Dentist
If you think that your child may be developing dental issues from pacifier use, don’t hesitate to contact Village Dental. Dr. Rasch donates his time and talent each week, providing dental treatment to underprivileged children and teens at the Christmas Box House. He is passionate about providing his youngest patients with the highest level of comfort, and quality dental care. Call 801-277-1916 to schedule an appointment with Village Dental today!More