Once a baby reaches the ages of between six and twelve months old, they reach the milestone that many new parents dread – teething. And, while this is a milestone that should be celebrated, it also causes babies discomfort and pain, leading new parents to feel distressed.
How Do You Know When Your Child Is Teething?
While it’s often apparent when your child starts teething, some symptoms might be difficult to recognise at first and if you’re not sure what to be looking for. However, if your baby is irritable and having sleepless nights (and causing some for you too), this could mean that they’ve started teething.
Some of the other typical symptoms and signs you should look out for if you think your child is teething, are:
- Disrupted Sleeping Patterns
- Loss of appetite
- Excessive drooling
- Inflamed gums
However, if your child starts exhibiting fevers, diarrhea, and a rash while they’re teething and the symptoms continue, you should seek assistance from your pediatrician.
Teething Tips to Consider
While every baby is different, some techniques have shown promise in aiding the comfort of children while they’re teething. It might take you some trial-and-error to figure out what helps your little one and what doesn’t. What you can try includes:
- Cooling Pressure – Gently rubbing your little one’s gums with a clean finger can help alleviate some discomfort and soothe sore gums. Another tip you could try is using a small, cold spoon or a moistened gauze pad to gently rub the areas where you can see the teeth starting to erupt through the gums.
- Teething Rings – There are a large number of teethers out there that you can buy to help your child ease the discomfort associated with teething. Just be careful only to buy teethers that are made of solid rubber, as the kinds that are filled with liquid could break and leak or spill into your baby’s mouth.
- Distraction Techniques – If all else fails, sometimes the best option is to try and distract your child from their pain and discomfort. You can do this by playing with them and showering them with affection, which can bring about short-term relief.
Teething Tips to Avoid
There’s a lot of information out there that, while well-meaning, can cause damage to your children’s teeth at an early age. Some advice you shouldn’t take when it comes to easing your baby’s discomfort while they’re teething includes:
- Sugars, Honey, or Jam – Putting sugary treats on the tip of a baby’s bottle, dummy, or on their teething ring to make them more enticing to the little one might seem like a good idea at first. However, doing this doesn’t prevent pain or discomfort and can cause dental decay.
- Certain Medicines – Medicines and numbing gels that contain benzocaine should only be used for children who are over two years old. Additionally, you should avoid adding medicines to your baby’s bottle and food as this can upset their tummies.
- Amber Necklaces & Bracelets – Over the past few years, we’ve seen an increase in the popularity of these homeopathic necklaces and bracelets. However, they’ve been proven not to provide pain relief and can be a choking hazard for your little one. Additionally, your baby chewing on the beads of these items can damage the enamel on their teeth and can cause them to break and crack.
Get Professional Advice
If you’re looking for more help and insight into what you can do to help your little one through teething, consult with your pediatrician or a dentist who specialises in child dentistry. TLC Dental offers a host of services that are tailored to ensuring your baby’s teeth and gums are healthy.
Contact us today to find out more about how we can assist you and your little one.