Babies tend to become fussy and irritable when they are cutting a new tooth. During this time, parents may feel overwhelmed by the series of events when teething starts.
Babies will begin teething from between 4 months and 2 years of age. The lower pair of central incisors will appear first and will be followed closely by the upper pair of central incisors at about 6 months of age. Parents can prepare for this developmental phase by getting all the necessary information and being aware of helpful natural teething remedies.
Signs of Teething in Your Baby
Even though babies are different and the signs of teething will differ variably across the board, there are universal telltale signs that include:
- Irritability: Baby will suddenly become cranky and fussy. They will scream and cry for no good reason at all and will be clingy.
- Low-grade fever – your baby may exhibit low-grade fever that hovers at 99 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Drooling: Babies will drool incessantly when teething demanding a change of clothes every now and then. Having extra bibs will help deal with the mess.
- Red and Swollen Gum: Gums in the areas a tooth is cutting through will appear red and swollen. The gums are painful and are part of the reason the baby is irritable and crying throughout.
- Poor Appetite: Eating with inflamed gums is extremely uncomfortable especially if the baby is already eating solid foods. Babies may not eat normally during teething but will soon pick up after teeth have fully erupted.
- Chewing on items: In an attempt to soothe inflamed gums during teething, children will chew or bite on anything around them.
The discomfort during teeth may last between three and four days and symptoms subside immediately a tooth breaks through the gums. The experience may repeat itself for every other tooth cutting through the gums. Teething happens in phases which specific categories appear with age from as early as 4 months. The molars appear last at about two years of age.
Parents should be on the lookout for signs of more trouble other than teething. It is normal for the baby to be irritable but should not be inconsolable. Symptoms should not last for more than a week. Immediately take your baby to a pediatrician if they have a fever of more than 101 degrees Fahrenheit, have diarrhea, a runny nose, and are inconsolable.
Approved Home Remedies for Teething Babies
The following homeopathic teething remedies are recommended by pediatricians to help soothe the baby.
- Offer cold food – Give the baby cold foods such as refrigerated fruit, yogurt with vanilla extract for teething, and applesauce if they have already started on solid foods. These cold foods will offer relief to inflamed gums where a tooth is cutting through.
- Use a cold wet cloth – Freeze a clean wet cloth and give it to your child to chew on it. The cloth will help soothe and massage the gums and decrease inflammation.
- Teething Biscuits – There are teething biscuits suitable for children between 8 and 12 months old to help massage and soothe inflamed gums. These biscuits contain healthier ingredients compared to the ordinary biscuits available from the store. Observe gum hygiene by wiping the gums with a cloth to protect against cavities. Introduce the child to brushing using a toothbrush as they get more teeth.
- Teething rings and toys – Sometimes, all that baby needs during teething is something to chew on and get through the discomfort of inflamed gums as a tooth cuts through. Teething rings are designed for baby’s tiny hands and help to soothe gums as the baby chews on it. Silicone and wooden teething toys are non-toxic and considered safe for babies. Silicone is a better choice compared to plastic and latex teethers. For the wooden teethers, choose those that have natural water-based sealants or food-based dyers to safeguard the baby’s health. Click for more info about toys that can help your teething baby.
- Do not freeze teething rings that contain gel to prevent breakages when baby chews on it. The teething toys can be refrigerated to keep them cold and more effective at providing relief for the baby.
- Rub baby’s gums using a clean finger – Parents can help soothe baby’s gums by using a clean finger to rub their gums without applying excessive pressure.
Care should be practiced during teething to prevent the risk of accidents such as choking and poisoning. The following items or products should be avoided completely.
- Herbal products – the majority of herbal products are not supported through effective research and may not offer much in the way of reducing the symptoms of teething. The herbal products may have long term side effects on the baby’s liver and kidneys.
- Topical medications that contain benzocaine or lidocaine – the effects of these medications are harmful to the health of your baby. They are associated with long term side effects if swallowed and they get into the bloodstream.
- Over the counter medications such as Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen – always get medication from your baby’s pediatrician and avoid going for OTC medication. Always keep in mind the safety of your child with all medications.
Maintaining good oral health is especially important now that the baby has some teeth. Oral hygiene should be kept even before their first tooth appears. Gums are cleaned by wiping with a clean cloth to prevent the buildup of plaque. As soon as the baby has tooth touching, start using a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean their teeth. Introduce fluoride toothpaste no more than the size of a rice grain when the child learns to spit.
In conclusion, teething can be comfortably handled at home with some of these teething home remedies. Lookout for high fever and immediately take the child to the hospital if fever runs very high. Remember to start dental appointments for the baby immediately their first tooth erupts. Regular dental visits from an early age will set up the child for a lifetime of good dental health.