Every parent, new or seasoned, has experienced the woes of a teething baby. Teething occurs when the teeth begin to emerge through the gums. The teething process can cause discomfort, restlessness, and frustration for both parents and children. Knowing what to expect and how to make the teething process easier for your little one can help you manage.
What is teething and what stages should I expect?
The first tooth usually begins sprouting through the gums when your baby is between 4 and 7 months old. The first teeth your child develops are called deciduous teeth, or “baby teeth,” because they are temporary.
Babies undergo several stages of teething. The first stage involves the development of “milk teeth” below the gums and usually concludes at 6 months. In stage two, teeth begin to emerge through the gums at 6 to 10 months. By stage three, the primary molars fully develop through the first year. Do not be surprised if your baby’s sleeping pattern and appetite significantly alter during this stage. In stage four, between the baby’s first and second birthday, canine teeth develop. During stage five, the final stage, additional molars return and grow twice as large as the previous teeth.
Oftentimes, simple at home remedies can do just the trick for your little one. If your child is experiencing persistent discomfort from teething, here are a few remedies that can help alleviate the symptoms.
- Keep your child relaxed. When your baby begins to teethe, consider what you normally do to relax your child. Whether it is rocking them in your arms or singing a popular lullaby, keeping your child relaxed can improve their discomfort. In between comforting, keep your baby busy with sound, color and visual stimulations.
- Use cold or frozen objects. Giving cold or frozen objects to your baby to chew on can help distract them from crying. In addition, it puts the baby’s mouth and gums at ease. Another useful remedy for teething babies is ice cubes. Ice cubes slightly numb the interior of the gums alleviating discomfort from inflammation.
- Use frozen food-based items. Completely freezing food items, such as a banana, and giving it to your baby can oftentimes relieve inflammation. In addition to bananas, you can also use large carrots or celery to help alleviate the pain associated with teething.
- Apply pressure to the gums. Before offering your child something cold, try applying gentle pressure to the gums first. This can help increase blood flow and reduce inflammation and teething pain.
- Teething gels. Teething gels should only be used as a very last resort. A small amount of teething gel can be placed directly onto the sore gum with a clean finger. It’s important to remember that teething gels provide only provide temporary relief from teething pain and shouldn’t be used more than twice a day.
Ensuring Safety with Your at-Home Remedies
Throughout the teething process, it is important for your child to avoid prolonged contact with very cold objects. Your baby should not use remedies that involve freezing cold objects for more than 45 minutes. When offering your baby a frozen food item, always consider the size of the food to ensure your child doesn’t choke on it.
If you notice any unusual side effects of the teething process such as bleeding or discoloration, it’s important to contact your pediatrician. The Oviedo Pediatrician team at Family First Pediatrics puts your child’s health and well being as our main priority. Feel free to give us a call at (407) 335-4760 or schedule an appointment online.