Teething is an important milestone for every child. It often comes with much crying on the child’s part and sleepless nights for you.
Here are some essential things you should know about a baby’s developing teeth that will make that period less stressful for you and your baby.
Important facts about teething
1. When does it start?
A baby’s first tooth often will appear when they are about 6 months old. However, for some children, their first set of teeth might not emerge until they reach the age of 1.
2. Which teeth come first?
The incisors are normally the first set of teeth. The bottom front incisors are usually the first to show up, then the canines erupt. The child’s complete set of molars should be erupted by the time they reach the age of 3.
3. What are the signs a baby is teething?
Teething causes children to drool and cry because they are in pain, especially when the teeth first start to come through the gums. The parent can feel little bumps on the child’s gums once they start erupting.
While there are some misconceptions that teething leads to diarrhea or a fever, that is not true. It just so happens that babies tend to develop illnesses around the same time they begin teething.
Babies are very cranky during the teething process. Drooling is also a significant sign of teething since the process stimulates the production of saliva. If a baby is drooling more than they usually do and are being fussier than usual, there is a high chance the child is teething.
Tips to make teething easier for a child
1. Cold items
Parents can soothe their child’s pain by giving them a clean cold item they can chew on like a pacifier or washcloth. Put in a clean plastic bag and put it in the fridge for an hour. The cold will soothe the child’s sore gums. Teething rings are particularly useful for this purpose.
2. Toys made for teething
There are a variety of toys that are made mainly for teething children. Get toys that consist of materials that are safe, durable and easy to wash. Let the child chew on these and make sure to clean them after each use.
3. Pain medication
Certain painkillers can be used for teething babies. Parents should always consult with a dentist or doctor before going this route. While it is an effective way to make teething less painful for a baby, parents should make sure their child is getting the proper dosage.
Things parents should avoid when a baby is teething
Teething gels that contain benzocaine. It is unsafe for babies, and it is found in many over-the-counter oral pain-relief gels. The Food and Drug Administration recommends not using products that contain benzocaine on children under the age of 2 unless prescribed by a doctor.
Parents should also avoid teething tablets that contain belladonna. Belladonna is known to cause seizures.
Do you need more help with teething?
Want to learn more about what parents should know about teething? Talk to one of our dentists today.