Teething can be particularly stressful and trying for you as a parent or caregiver. Nothing bothers a parent or caregiver more than seeing their child in pain or discomfort; teething is one of these times. Today’s article includes a few ways to help your teething baby and make it more bearable for both of you.
Identify the teething signs and symptoms
Between four months and one year, you might notice that your happy and bubbly baby becomes fussy and irritable. They might try to bite and gnaw at everything they can get their hands on. Those are the first signs of teething, and one or more of the 20 little teeth just below the gum line is likely beginning to erupt. A common symptom of teething during this period is drooling (from an increased flow of saliva), which signals the appearance of a tooth. Other signs of teething include tender gums, looking ill or running a mild temperature, and a loss of appetite.
Helpful tips to soothe your teething baby
A soothing gum massage with a finger can help ease the discomfort and pain and help your baby fall asleep. Ensure your hand is thoroughly washed and dried with a clean towel before massaging your baby’s gums.
During the day, you can try distracting your baby with play or by gently rocking your baby. A bit of cuddling can help distract your baby and give you and them some much-needed rest.
Cool items, such as a chilled baby spoon or a teether, are excellent for soothing, numbing, and calming inflamed gums. You can even chill a clean, damp washcloth in the fridge so your baby can be refreshed and soothed. Remember to refrigerate chew-safe items and not freeze them!
Milk popsicles are an excellent option for babies who go off food when they are teething. You can use breastmilk to make these popsicles; however, they can be messy as they melt, so ensure your baby has a bib when sucking on a popsicle.
If your baby is slightly older and can eat a banana or carrot, you can chill these or any other age-appropriate fruit to chew on.
Chilled pacifiers and teething toys are great for soothing gums. They are available in various materials and are specially designed to be chilled in the fridge.
While teething toys are generally safe, there are a few things to avoid. These include liquid-filled and gel toys that can be punctured when chewed, herbal teething products, frozen products, and teethers with breakable parts or strings attached.
Early oral care
Teething marks the beginning of your child’s oral and dental care. Start by massaging your baby’s gums with a soft, clean cloth dipped in clean water to get them used to having their gums cleaned daily. Once teeth appear, a soft-bristled brush can be used in place of the cloth. You can introduce toddler toothpaste when your baby is about three years old and knows how to spit. Remember, your baby only requires a pea-sized amount of toothpaste on their toothbrush.
Aside from ensuring good oral hygiene, starting early oral health care has other advantages. Regular visits to your family dentist, for example, to check your baby’s teeth, can help ensure your baby does not develop a fear of going to the children’s dentist. Also, establishing a relationship with a good children’s dentist early in life ensures that you have a dentist familiar with your child’s history. They can monitor your child’s oral health over the next several years.
Teething is a challenging time for your baby, but there are several tips and tricks you can do to help them get through it. When it comes to your child, as the saying goes by Benjamin Franklin, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” So, don’t be afraid to consult your family doctor if you have questions about teething and how to make the process easier for you and your baby. Time to bring your baby in for their first dental appointment? Contact Torbram Dental today for more information!