Teething...the phase that all moms dread!
Teeth start developing while the baby is still in the womb and tooth buds form in the gums. The vast majority of babies sprout their first tooth when they're between 4 and 7 months old…. Don’t forget to mark this milestone when it happens!!
Teeth break through one at a time over a period of months, and often following the below order:
- The bottom two middle teeth
- The top two middle ones
- The ones along the sides and back
- The last teeth to appear are the second molars (in the very back on the top and bottom) & usually sprout a bit before your baby turns 3 and by then he should have a full set of 20 baby teeth.
- Not all the baby’s teeth will come in straight, but they usually straighten out over time.
- Baby teeth will start to fall out around the age of 6 that is when the permanent teeth are ready to pop out.
- An early developer may get his first white cap as early as 3 months, while a late bloomer may have to wait until he's a year old or more.
How teething babies feel?
Some experts do not agree that teething actually causes symptoms; they believe that symptoms known as “Teething symptoms” are common to all babies and coincidently happen at the same time when the baby is teething and over time we started believing that they’re related. Another possible reason that they coincide is because babies tend to put things in their mouths to rub and soothe their gums, so they're coming into contact with more viruses and other germs
Until this theory is fully established and adopted by all experts and researchers, we keep on treating them as “Teething Symptoms”.
Those symptoms range from mild fussiness to high fever, take a look:
- Irritability or grumpiness
- Drooling (which can lead to a facial rash)
- Gum swelling and sensitivity
- Chewing behavior
- Loss of appetite
- Sleep problems
- Runny nose
- Ear ache
- Swollen gums
On the other hand, some babies do not feel any of the teething symptoms and this stage might pass unnoticed.
How can mommy make it better?
- Before teething, massage and clean baby gums using a clean soft towel cloth, it might help in softening the gum and preparing it for sprouting.
- Give your child something to chew on, a teething ring helps as it’s made of rubber and at the same time firm enough, you can also try a cold washcloth chilled for a while in the refrigerator.
- Rub a clean finger gently but firmly over your baby's sore gums to temporarily ease the pain; you can also buy a rubber finger cover.
- Put some firm solid fruits like apples or pears in a mesh baby feeder and give to your baby, this will be of double benefit; first he’d be rubbing his gums on his own pace and second he’ll be getting some juice out of those fruits.
- If those aren’t working you can give your baby a pain relief medicine but try to stay away from teething jells as there are lots of talk about their side effects.
Always consult your doctor.
Keeping New Teeth Healthy
At the age of 3 your child will have gotten his full set of 20 teeth and keeping them healthy is so important.
Here are some tips on how to do so:
- You can start arranging dental visits at the age of 18 months as before that it would be difficult for a baby to comprehend what’s going on. The chosen dentist will discuss with you the status of your baby’s teeth, how to take care of them, feeding habits that affect teeth health as well as when and how will the baby teeth fall.
- Establishing a habit of brushing the teeth is very important, so teach your child to start brushing his teeth with tab water only before the age of 2 and after that you can start using baby toothpaste but with very small quantities.
- Try not to let your child after the age of 18 month to fall asleep while drinking his milk especially from a bottle or a sippy cup. And stop their milk intake in the middle of the night, whenever and if possible.
If your baby passed his 15 months without any sprouting of a tooth you need to consult with your doctor!
Teething is just another stage and another milestone, cherish it as it’s another indication that your baby is growing…faster than you think.