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How to help a teething baby

 

Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 11.44.15 AMWhether you’re a new or seasoned parent, teething can be a hair-graying experience. Crying, whining, drooling and overall crankiness are often a normal part of the process when a baby’s teeth are on the brink of breaking through the gum tissue.  When a baby begins teething, there is no set pattern on when it will begin, how long it will take and how painful it will be.  For one baby teething might happen overnight without pain, while another child might have to go through a long, drawn out and painful experience.  You may sometimes visibly see a rise or lump in the gum for several weeks, while sometimes there may be no visible clue at all until the tooth actually appears.

Which teeth come in first and how many teeth come in?

In total there are twenty primary teeth, which is twelve less than the full set of thirty-two permanent teeth adults have. Each of the baby teeth slowly emerge from the gum over a few weeks or months.  Most children have a full set of primary teeth by the time they are around two or three years old. The teeth can seem very spaced out at first but it’s nothing to worry about; as the full set comes through, the teeth will move into a more normal position.

 These teeth usually last until about the age of six, when the teeth that were first to appear become loose and fall out as the second teeth begin to push through the gums.  The primary teeth continue falling out until roughly the age of twelve.  The following is the most common pattern for baby teeth to appear.

Age

Teeth

Position

6 to 7 months

Incisors

Two central bottom & Two central top teeth.

7 to 9 months

Two more incisors

Top & bottom; making four top & four bottom teeth in all.

10 to 14 months

First molars

Double teeth for chewing

15 to 18 months

Canines

The pointed teeth or “fangs”

2 to 3 years

Second molars

The second set of double teeth at the back

 

 

How will you know if your baby is teething?

Teething symptoms vary from child to child. Some babies are fussier than usual when they are teething so it might make it more difficult to determine what is the exact cause.This may be because of soreness and swelling in the gums before a tooth comes through. These symptoms usually begin about 3 to 5 days before the tooth shows, and they disappear as soon as the tooth breaks the skin. Many babies don’t seem to be affected by teething. 

Irritability:   The pain and discomfort is most often worse during the first teeth coming in and later when the molars come in because of their bigger size

Drooling:  Your baby start drooling more often than normal because teething stimulates drooling

Chin rash:  The constant contact with saliva can cause the skin around the chin and mouth to become irritated

Biting & gnawing:  A baby that is teething will gnaw and gum down on anything she or he can get their mouth around.  The counter pressure from biting on something helps relieve the pressure from under the gums.

Cheek rubbing and ear tugging:  Pain in the gums may travel to the ears and cheeks particularly when the back molars begin coming in

Diarrhea:  It is believed that the most likely cause of this is the extra saliva swallowed, which then loosens the stool

Not sleeping well:  With teething pain happening during the day and night, you may find your child wakes more often at night when the pain gets bad enough

Coughing:  The extra saliva can cause your baby to occasionally cough or gag

How can you help teething pain?

There are plenty of things you can try before resorting to pain relief products or teething gels. Giving your baby something cool to bite on can relieve the pressure and ease the pain. You could try the following: 

  • Rub a clean finger over your baby’s sore gums to numb the pain temporarily.
  • Give your baby a teething ring. Solid, silicone-based teething rings are better than liquid-filled products, which could leak and can’t be sterilised. You could try putting the teething ring in the fridge for a while before giving it to your baby. Don’t put it in the freezer, as this could hurt your baby’s gums.
  • Offering your baby a cold bottle of water can also help.
  • Teething gels.

If you have any questions about teething contact Dr. Chauvins office today.