Teething is a common behavior for newborns, but it can come with its frustrations. Newborns are born with a total of 20 teeth underneath their gum line, and as they age these teeth begin to grow in. As this process occurs, newborns begin to teethe. With teething comes drooling, sore gums, and a good amount of crankiness. So what can be done? Today, Advanced Dental Care of Anderson will be giving you some comfort tips for teething babies.
When Does Teething Occur?
While the period of time in which teething occurs can vary, most babies begin teething by around six months of age. The first teeth to appear are usually the two bottom front teeth, followed soon after by the two top teeth. As these teeth come in, the common signs and symptoms of teething occur.
What Are the Most Common Signs of Teething?
While many parents believe that teething is indicated by high-grade fevers and even diarrhea, there is no evidence that these are clear indicators of teething. Instead, there are a number of common signs and symptoms that parents should be on the lookout for. Some of the most classic signs and symptoms of teething include:
- Chewing on objects
- Excessive drooling
- Crankiness and irritability
- Gums that are sore or tender to the touch
- Low-grade rectal fever
- The emergence of a drool rash
How to Soothe a Teething Baby
Teething is something we all go through as babies. While you are unlikely to remember the pain of your new baby teeth coming in, this pain is very real for your teething newborn. As the teeth begin to develop, they slide slowly through gum tissue. As you can imagine, this process is painful and can cause your baby to become cranky in protest.
So what can you do to help comfort your baby through this process? Here are five of Advanced Dental Care of Anderson’s most effective ways to comfort your teething baby.
Use a Cold Washcloth
It’s a well-known fact that cool objects are a great way to soothe irritated gums. This is especially true in the case of a teething baby. To comfort your baby, it’s a great idea to get a clean washcloth and soak it in cool water. Next, wring out the washcloth until it is damp and place it in the refrigerator or freezer.
Once the washcloth is cold, fold it and let your baby chew to their heart’s content. This will soothe their gums and give them a soft object to bite down on. Remember to never leave your baby unattended to chew on the washcloth as any object for chewing, a washcloth included, can be considered a choking hazard.
Massage the Gums
Applying pressure to a teething baby’s gums is also a great way to soothe discomfort. After making sure that your hands are clean, you can lay your baby down and massage their gums with a finger. Do so gently but with enough pressure to soothe their pain. Oftentimes, babies will even fall asleep while having their gums massaged. Massaging the gums is a great go-to for easing your baby’s pain, especially when they are showing the sure signs of crankiness and irritability.
Wipe Away Excess Drool
Drool rashes are a common symptom of teething. Drool rashes are caused by the buildup of drool on or around a baby’s face. They can be very irritating and cause discoloration on the surface of the skin. For this reason, you can comfort your teething baby by making sure that excess drool is kept clean of their face. This prevents further teething irritation caused by an unsightly, itchy rash.
Chill Teething Toys or Pacifiers
Chilling teething toys or pacifiers is one of the best ways to comfort a teething baby. This is because such methods combine the use of two things that any teething baby needs: cold and something to chew on. Similarly to a cold washcloth, chilled teething toys or pacifiers will comfort a baby in pain, as the cold is especially soothing to irritated gums. This is because cold objects are likely to numb the pain.
Take one of your baby’s favorite teething toys or pacifiers and chill it in the refrigerator or freezer for approximately 10-15 minutes. This is enough time to make the toy or pacifier cool but not frozen. You should avoid leaving these objects in the refrigerator or freezer so long that they freeze, as this can actually be too cold for your baby. If any ice were to form on the objects, this could present a dangerous opportunity for cutting your baby’s gums.
As a last resort, you can consult your pediatrician for advice on the right over-the-counter medication to soothe your baby’s pain while teething. Especially cranky babies may find comfort in the proper dosage of acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Again, this should be used as a last resort as you will not want to rely on medicating your baby to get them through the teething period.
Remember that once your baby’s first tooth appears, the American Dental Association recommends scheduling your child’s first dental visit within the next six months! Contact Advanced Dental Care of Anderson to schedule your child’s first dental appointment. Regular dental visits set the foundation for healthy teeth and gums later in life, and we want to be there to help!