Teething is a natural process in babies. It is the process when the initial teeth of the babies begin to emerge. Children’s first teeth, commonly called “baby teeth” or “milk teeth,” emerge through their gums.
Teething paves the way for a child’s future oral health and helps shape their dietary habits. As the teeth start to appear, it allows the child to gradually transition from a purely liquid diet to one that includes soft solids, thereby expanding their nutritional intake.
However, this period can sometimes be uncomfortable for the child. As the teeth push out, it can lead to sore and swollen gums, making the infant irritable.
A child’s primary teeth, or “baby teeth,” are critical in several functions, including speech development and chewing. Monitor and care for these initial teeth, ensuring they remain healthy until they’re naturally shed during the child’s early school years.
When Does Teething Start in Children?
Teething in children starts at the age of around 4 to 6 months. This time can vary among children and can be as early as 3 months or as late as 12 months. Some babies might experience and show early signs of teething, while others may seem to sprout their first tooth overnight.
The initial teeth to appear are usually the central incisors or lower front ones. The top front pair, the upper central incisors, often appear after these. As the child ages, more teeth gradually emerge in a particular sequence until they complete their 20 primary teeth, usually by age 3.
Symptoms of Teething in Children
The symptoms of teething in children include;
- Swollen, tender gums
- Increased fussiness or irritability
- Excessive drooling
- A tendency to chew on solid objects
- A mild rise in body temperature
- Cranky and fussy behavior
Tips to soothe a teething baby
Teething can be a challenging period for both babies and their caregivers. The discomfort and pain of teeth pushing through the gums can lead to fussiness, sleep disturbances, and general discomfort. Here are some proven natural tips to alleviate the symptoms and soothe a teething baby:
Cold Compress or Teething Toys
Cold temperatures can numb the gums area and relieve the pain. Offer your baby a cold washcloth or a chilled teething toy to chew on. Ensure the items are clean and safe for babies. Avoid using items that are too frozen, as extreme cold can harm their delicate gums.
Gentle Gum Massage
Gentle pressure on the gums can counteract the pain of a tooth pushing through.
Clean your hands thoroughly and gently massage the baby’s gums with your finger. If you are unaware of the right way to massage, consult a dentist in Lahore to know the professional way to massage your toddler.
Sometimes, the best remedy is a change of scenery or activity. Play with your baby, offer a new toy, or gently walk outside. Distractions can often divert their attention away from the discomfort. This is particularly important when the baby becomes cranky and fussy. Try a walk at night if the baby cries continuously.
Teething Biscuits or Frozen Foods
Chewing on something hard can relieve the children during teething, and the cold can help numb the pain. There are teething biscuits available exclusively for this purpose. Offer teething biscuits or cold, soft foods if your baby is already on solids. Always supervise your child during this to prevent choking.
Amber Teething Necklaces
Some experts believe that succinic acid in amber has anti-inflammatory properties. If you choose an amber necklace, always supervise your child wearing it and remove it during naps or bedtime to prevent choking or strangulation hazards. However, the effectiveness and safety of amber necklaces are debated among experts, so proceed cautiously.
Keep the Face Dry
Excess drooling is common during teething. Keeping the face dry can help prevent the rash and skin irritation from drooling. Wipe your baby’s face regularly with a soft cloth to remove drool, and consider applying a gentle moisturizer or barrier cream to prevent rashes.
Teething is a natural process and can be quite discomforting for your child. Try different methods to manage the teething signs and symptoms and observe what seems most effective for your child. It is essential that each baby is different, and what works for one might not work for another. Always consult a pediatric dentist about any concerns related to the teething process in children before trying new remedies.