A Parent’s Guide to Teething Babies

Hearing a baby cry is always unnerving but hearing your own baby cry is even more troubling. Between four and eight months of age, babies begin to experience what is known as “teething.” Teething is the process of growth in which the baby’s primary teeth (also known as baby teeth) begin to push through into the mouth. Teething can cause pain and discomfort as the process causes a lot of pressure to build in the gums and jaw bone.

Teething Timeline

Between the ages of one and three years old, babies will have all 20 of their baby teeth fully grown in. It is not unusual for toddlers to continue the teething process in between those years as the teeth mature and the jaw bones continue to grow. The first teeth that grow in are generally the incisors, which are the front teeth on the top and bottom. Molars begin to grow in around the age of one and continue to grow until age 3. The molars generally cause a bit more pain because of their larger and more ridged surface areas.

Symptoms of Teething

If you think that your baby might be experiencing teething pain, watch out for the following common symptoms:

  • Excessive drooling
  • Rash around mouth
  • Crying
  • Gum Rubbing
  • Chewing
  • Biting
  • Irritability
  • Low-grade fever (less than 101 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Decreased appetite

Pre-Emptive Measures 

While teething can be a tough time for both parents and babies, there are certain measures that you can take before the growth process begins in order to make your growing baby more comfortable. Some of these suggestions may help:

  • Begin cleaning your baby’s gums with a moistened cotton ball or washcloth after each feeding.
    • Cleaning will help clean their gums, preventing bacteria formation.
    • Getting your baby used to the feeling of having something in their mouths will make the transition to using a toothbrush easier.
  • Teething rings can provide relief by applying counter-pressure to the gums, but make sure to research the different types of teething rings because some types can be a choking hazard.
  • Ask your doctor for dosage information on infant Tylenol, because using medication can be a big help before bedtime.

Treatments for Teething Babies

There’s no real cure for teething, and some babies experience more pain than others. What you can do is make the­­ process a little bit easier, taking the following steps:

  • Refrigerate a BPA-free teething ring! The cool (not cold!) temperature will help ease inflammation if present.
  • Massage your baby’s gums to apply counter-pressure, relieving a bit of the pressure from the teeth trying to push through.
  • Moisten a cloth and let your baby suck on it, while supervising them!
  • Administer infant pain-reliever medicine.

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that babies have their first visit to the dentist by the age of one. This ensures that all of their teeth are growing in correctly and in the case that there is an issue, the pediatric dentist can take care of it before it gets worse. Teething can be an uncomfortable time for both parent and child, but it is manageable. Schedule your child’s pediatric dental appointment at 516-758-KIDS.

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