5 Step Survival Guide to Baby Teething
Fevers, sleepless nights, and fits…. Yep, these types of pain sound like teething! Well, don’t worry, we have some tips from our pediatric dentist to help you and your little one survive this trying time. Baby teething is uncomfortable, but there are ways to make it a little bit better.
What to Look For When Baby Starts Teething
First, you need to understand the signs, symptoms, and what to expect when sets of teeth begin to come in. Drooling and acute pain from baby teething may begin as early as 3-4 months, but teeth won’t come in until 6-8 months or later. Every baby is different, but generally, teeth appear in pairs, and it’s usually the front teeth. The bottom set usually appears first followed by the matching pair on top.
Be on the lookout for drooling, irritability, difficulty sleeping, grabbing ears, biting/chewing/sucking, and turning away food (typical baby behavior, right…not quite). Be careful not to blame teething for other symptoms such as diarrhea, runny nose, or high temperature. If you are noticing these symptoms, and they last longer than 24 hours you should contact your pediatrician.
What You Can Do to Ease The Pain (5 Steps)
1. Gum Massage
The teeth don’t simply erupt; they twist and shift their way into the gums, sounds pretty uncomfortable! To help ease this pain and relieve sore gums, use wet washcloths, gauze, or clean fingers to massage the gums for pain management. It helps the teeth break through the skin and will relieve some of the discomforts your baby is experiencing. The gums around the growing teeth may be swollen and painful as each tooth grows upwards.
2. Ice, Ice, Baby
Look for teething rings that you can chill or freeze. You can also wet a baby-sized washcloth and freeze it for your child to gnaw on. Frozen foods such as bananas, carrots, celery, and popsicles work as well. Celery actually has natural pain relieving properties, so frozen it serves double duty!
3. Catching ZZZ’s Regularly
Try to stay on a regular sleep or nap schedule. It’s hard for babies to sleep when teeth are breaking through. To keep their sleep schedule regular use pain relievers. Children 6 months and under can only take Infant Tylenol. However, children over the age of 6 months can take Children’s Motrin. This is a good option because teething pain is caused by inflammation, and Motrin relieves inflammation, which helps reduce pain significantly. Please be sure to follow all package dosing instructions.
4. Skin Protection
Babies tend to drool while teething, in order to prevent face rashes make sure you are protecting their chins using mild ointment before and during drooling spells. In addition, put bibs on your baby to catch the drool. The bib will help prevent drool soaking through their shirts, so you aren’t changing their outfit 6 times in one day!
5. Ease the Hunger Strike
When teeth are breaking through, sometimes it is so painful that your baby doesn’t want to eat. Try to give your baby something cold to bite on before mealtime. This will help relieve the pain and then allow the hunger to take over.
Teething will be a difficult time for your little one, and you as well. Try these tips for taking care of your baby’s teeth and hang in there while their little chompers grow! If there’s something we didn’t cover that you’d be interested in learning, contact us, and our knowledgeable dental staff will be more than happy to help!
Pediatric Dentists at Snodgrass & King in Middle Tennessee
If you are looking for a fun kids dentist, we have dental office locations in Franklin, Hermitage, Spring Hill, Murfreesboro, and Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. We take care of your child’s dental health from baby to wisdom teeth! Starting dental care from only a few months of age can prevent chronic pain, gum disease, cavities, and a whole host of dental ailments. Look out for Chomp! Your child may even see Chomp the friendly purple, alligator during their dental visit.