Are you worried about your baby crying all the time? There are questions all the time in your head, for example: “When do babies start teething?”, “How long will it take?” And “How painful will this process be?”. Do not worry, as every mother goes through it. There is no fixed teething pattern, and each baby will have a different process.
Teething is a process when an infant has baby teeth that cut the gums. Many parents naturally worry about the pain a baby can experience. Knowledge of the first symptoms of the appearance of teeth will help you prepare for this stage of development.
Sequence of teeth
Teeth begin to cut in most children between 6 and 12 months. They appear in pairs in babies. Lower anterior teeth come first, and upper anterior teeth usually erupt after a couple of months. Then the lateral lower and upper incisors appear, followed by the first molars (teeth behind the canines), the canines and the second molars. So, by three years old, the child will have a set of 20 primary teeth.
When should you worry if your child does not teether?
The average age of teething onset is about six months. The appearance of teeth up to six months is considered early. If the baby has no teeth up to 13 months, then this is considered a delay.
Do not worry if the eruption is delayed; it varies from one child to another. While your child’s hair, skin and bones are in good condition, there is nothing to worry about. Delayed teething does not indicate any problem in the overall development of the child.
The appearance of teeth may be delayed due to:
- hereditary factor;
- poor nutrition;
- hypothyroidism (thyroid disease);
- premature birth.
However, if you believe that the hereditary cause is missing, and the child receives adequate nutrition, and the teeth do not appear, then you should consult with your doctor. But first, pay attention to the signs that tell you when a tooth may appear.
The level of pain that the child feels will be different for each child. Some children may suffer more than others when their teeth erupt. Soreness and swelling of the gums before the appearance of the tooth are the cause of the discomfort that the infant experiences during this change. These symptoms usually begin about three to five days before the tooth comes out, and they go away when the tooth breaks through the gum.
Signs of teething:
- Salivation. A baby with incisor teeth tends to drool more than during other periods, as the tooth’s progression and pain cause it to keep its mouth open for longer periods. In the end, saliva will be more than usual. A mild rash may develop due to irritation of the skin around the mouth, caused by excessive salivation. If you notice that the baby’s clothing is always damp, attach the baby bib and gently wipe his chin throughout the day.
- Biting. The pressure of the teeth under the gums leads to severe discomfort, which can be relieved by pressing from the opposite side (chewing and biting). Babies with cut teeth will gnaw whatever they find, from a special toy and rattles, to mother’s nipples when breastfeeding and fingers.
- Irritation. Painful gums and cutting teeth cause discomfort, and you will find that the baby is irritated too easily and in most cases fussy.
- Swelling of the gums. When teeth are cut, they usually cut through the gums, which leads to their swelling. If the baby’s gums are swollen and sore, this is a sign that a new tooth will soon grow.
- Grabbing ears. Another sign of pain; pain in the mouth gives over the entire head of the child, so they pull their ears, suggesting that this will lead to relief.
- Crying, hectic night sleep and mild fever are also associated with teething. Because of the pain, babies may even refuse to eat.
- Teeth visible inside the gums. The most obvious sign that babies have teeth erupting is their appearance along the lower part of the jaw.
Symptoms usually go away on their own, but the physician should be notified if they worsen or persist. Teething can cause symptoms in the mouth and gums, but this process does not cause problems in other parts of the body.
How to distinguish the symptoms of the appearance of teeth from the signs of the disease?
This is probably a disease if your child:
- overly fussy that you can’t calm him down. The phrase “teething” suggests that the baby will have unbearable pain, but it is quite mild. A bit of fuss is normal. But, if your child is crying so much that he cannot sleep or calm down, consult a doctor;
- has a high temperature. A fever of 38 ° C or higher is likely to indicate an infection.
- refuses any food (solid products and liquids). Some children avoid hard foods when a new tooth breaks its way. But, if the child also refuses to suckle or take a bottle in his mouth, talk to the pediatrician;
- has a runny nose, cough, vomiting or diarrhea. There is no evidence that teething leads to any of these problems. Most likely, these manifestations indicate that the child is sick;
- has a rash not only on the face. Often, excessive salivation leads to a rash around the mouth, but if the rash spreads to the body, arms or legs, it can be caused by the disease;
- symptoms last more than a few days. Irritability, swelling of the gums and slightly elevated temperature can be caused by teething, but only on the days before and after the appearance of the tooth.
Therefore, if the child feels bad for several days in a row and you still do not see the tooth, something else is probably bothering the baby.
Pediatricians explain that the passive immunity of the child from maternal antibodies disappears at this time, and the baby is exposed to a wide range of pathogens. Thus, it is likely that a child’s vomiting or diarrhea has a different etiology.
Means to soothe the pain of a child
It is painful for parents to see a child suffering from pain. You can help him get some relief with these tools:
- Often, the pain in the gums is relieved by gently pressing on them. Therefore, many experts advise gently with a clean finger to rub the gums, or allow the child to bite a clean cloth.
- If pain causes feeding problems, sometimes a different nipple shape or using a cup can reduce discomfort and improve nutrition.
- Cold items can also help reduce inflammation. Using special rings for teething can be useful. Experienced parents found that the use of a chilled wet sponge, cold soother, a spoon, frozen bananas can be effective in reducing discomfort. Avoid long contact of excessively cold objects with gums. In addition, never put objects that may cause suffocation in the baby’s mouth (small parts).
- The use of pain medication. There are disputes over the use of these tools when teething:
- although some parents approve topical medications, studies have not always shown their benefits. In May 2011, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) issued a warning urging to avoid the use of topical anesthetics called benzocaine. Benzocaine is the main ingredient found in many over-the-counter gels and sprays. The FDA warning indicates a connection with a rare but extremely dangerous complication called methemoglobinemia. In this state, the ability of red blood cells to deliver oxygen throughout the body is significantly limited, which can lead to serious consequences and even death. In children with methemoglobinemia, pallor, asphyxiation appear, heartbeat increases. Such a reaction may occur with the first use or after several effects of benzocaine. A child with such symptoms should be taken to the emergency room of the nearest hospital;
- systemic medications such as paracetamol or ibuprofen will also help with pain. Consult your pediatrician regarding the use of these and other medications. Care should be taken and do not overdo it in their application. The drug may mask important symptoms that are necessary to understand the condition of the child;
- homeopathic remedies and other folk methods are widely used, there is a limited study of their true effectiveness. Using clove oil, licorice sticks, fennel, green onions, olive oil, ginger root and chamomile can be effective.
How long does the pain last?
There is no fixed time for teething. After the first incisor appears and the pain subsides, the child will again feel uncomfortable when the molars wade through the gums. Large teeth can cause more discomfort and pain than the front teeth, because they are large and located in the back of the alveolar process of the jaw.
Ways to care for children’s teeth
Primary (milk) teeth need the same quality care as permanent ones. Early oral hygiene will help prevent caries. Here are some tips for caring for your baby’s oral cavity:
- Clean the gum line with baby gauze or a soft cloth.
- Provide separate cutlery (bowl, spoon, and fork) for your child. Do not allow others to use this dish, as this may lead to infection.
- Give your child foods rich in vitamins and minerals. The child needs calcium, fluoride, phosphorus and vitamin C for the healthy development of teeth and gums.
- Avoid sugary foods and drinks as they destroy teeth.
- Teach your child to drink from a glass, not from a bottle. Drinking from bottles leads to tooth decay, as the slow flow of milk and juice accumulates in the baby’s mouth and remains there for a long time.
- Once the child is 18 months old, you can begin to begin brushing his teeth.