When a baby begins to go through the teething process it can be very painful for them and very frustrating for you as a parent trying to provide some relief.
Most babies usually start teething around the age of 6 months. Typically, the two lower front teeth will come in first, followed by the two top front teeth.
Classic signs and symptoms of teething can include:
Researchers say that teething symptoms will occur in the mouth, but should not show up anywhere else in the body. So, fevers or diarrhea are not signs of teething as many parents often think.
- † Drooling, which may begin about two months before the first tooth appears
- † Irritability or crankiness
- † Swollen gums
- † Chewing on solid objects
Here are a few great remedies to help soothe those sore gums and help your baby feel more comfortable.
If you havenít already been doing so, begin running a clean, damp washcloth over your babyís gums everyday. This can help keep the bacteria from building up in your babyís mouth.
- Rub your babyís gums. Use a clean finger, moistened gauze pad or damp washcloth to massage your babyís gums. The pressure can ease your babyís discomfort.
- Offer a teething ring. Try one made of firm rubber. The liquid-filled variety may break under the pressure of your babyís chewing. If a bottle seems to do the trick, fill it with water. Prolonged contact with sugar from formula, milk or juice may cause tooth decay.
- Keep it cool. A cold washcloth or chilled teething ring can be soothing. Donít give your baby a frozen teething ring, however. Contact with extreme cold may hurt, doing your baby more harm than good. If your babyís eating solid foods, offer cold items such as applesauce or yogurt.
- Dry the drool. Excessive drooling is part of the teething process. To prevent skin irritation, keep a clean cloth handy to dry your babyís chin. You might also make sure your baby sleeps on an absorbent sheet.
- Try an over-the-counter remedy. If your baby is especially cranky, acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) may help. Donít give your baby products that contain aspirin, however, and be cautious about teething medications that can be rubbed directly on a babyís gums. The medication may be washed away by your babyís saliva before it has the chance to do any good ó and too much of the medication may numb your babyís throat, which may interfere with his or her normal gag reflex.
When you see those first little teeth pop in, use a soft-bristled toothbrush without toothpaste. Water is all you need until your child learns to spit, which usually happens around age 2.
This is the time to start thinking about regular dental checkups. The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend scheduling a childís first dental visit after the first tooth erupts and no later than his or her first birthday. Your babyís teeth and gums will also be examined at well-baby checkups. Regular childhood dental care is very important and can also help teach your child the importance of taking care of their teeth.