Teething is a significant milestone in a baby’s development, but it can also be a challenging time for both infants and their parents. Understanding the symptoms of teething, along with effective tips and helpful information, can help parents navigate this phase with confidence and support their baby’s oral health.
Recognizing Teething Symptoms
Teething typically begins around six months of age, though it can vary from one child to another. Knowing the signs of teething can help parents identify when their baby is going through this developmental stage. The common symptoms include the following:
- Irritability and Fussiness: Teething can cause discomfort, leading to increased fussiness and irritability in babies. They may become more clingy and seek comfort from their caregivers.
- Excessive Drooling: Teething stimulates the production of saliva, causing babies to drool more than usual. To manage this, keep a clean cloth handy and gently wipe away excess drool. A soft cloth can help prevent skin irritation.
- Gum Swelling and Sensitivity: The gums may become red, swollen, and sensitive during teething. Babies may express discomfort by rubbing their gums, putting objects in their mouths, or chewing on fingers or toys.
- Sleep Disturbances: Discomfort from teething can disrupt a baby’s sleep routine. Parents may notice changes in their baby’s sleeping patterns, such as frequent waking during the night.
- Changes in Eating Patterns: Teething can affect a baby’s appetite. They may show reluctance to feed due to the discomfort caused by the pressure of sucking on a bottle.
Effective Tips for Soothing Teething Discomfort
While teething is a natural process, there are several strategies parents can use to alleviate their baby’s discomfort and help them through this phase.
- Gentle Gum Massage: Using a clean finger or a soft, damp cloth, gently massage the baby’s gums. This can provide relief by counteracting the pressure caused by emerging teeth.
- Chilled Teething Toys: Chilled, not frozen, teething toys can soothe sore gums. Be sure to choose teethers specifically designed for infants to ensure they are safe and easy for the baby to grasp.
- Cold Washcloth: Dampen a clean washcloth and chill it in the refrigerator for a short time. Let the baby chew on the cold cloth to ease gum discomfort.
- Teething Rings: BPA-free teething rings provide a safe and textured surface for babies to chew on, helping to alleviate teething discomfort. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for use.
- Over-the-Counter Teething Gels: Consult with a pediatrician before using teething gels or creams. If recommended, choose products specifically designed for infants and use them according to the provided instructions.
Frequently Asked Questions About Teething
Being a parent comes with a lot of questions because every child is different and has unique needs. Having the answers you need empowers you to be the parent you want to be and to help your baby through the teething process. Here are some common questions about teething.
When does teething typically begin?
Teething usually begins around six months, but it can start as early as three months or as late as one year. Every child is unique, and the timing can vary.
How long does the teething process last?
Teething is a gradual process that can take several months. Most children will have a full set of primary teeth by the age of three.
Can teething cause a fever?
While teething can lead to a slight increase in body temperature, it generally does not cause a fever above 100.4°F (38°C). If a baby has a high fever, it may be due to another underlying issue, and a healthcare professional should be consulted.
What if my baby refuses to eat during teething?
If a baby is reluctant to eat due to teething discomfort, try offering softer foods that require less chewing. Consult with a pediatrician if feeding issues persist.
Are all teething symptoms normal?
While irritability, drooling, and gum sensitivity are common teething symptoms, persistent symptoms such as high fever, diarrhea, or a rash may indicate another issue. Consult with a healthcare professional if unusual symptoms arise.
When should I schedule my baby’s first dental visit?
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends scheduling a baby’s first dental visit by their first birthday or within six months of the first tooth eruption, whichever comes first.
Nurturing Healthy Smiles from the Start
Teething is a natural part of a baby’s development, and while it can present challenges, it is a temporary phase. By recognizing the symptoms of teething, employing effective soothing techniques, and seeking guidance for common questions, parents can help ensure a smoother teething experience for their little ones. Regular dental check-ups from an early age further contribute to establishing a foundation for a lifetime of healthy smiles.
The post Teething in Babies: Symptoms, Tips, and Frequently Asked Questions
first appeared on Dental Signal