Teething is commonly referred to as the eruption of baby teeth through gums. Teething in babies can be a distressing time for babies and parents. Dr Mahima Nanda, Director at Dental Life shares what to expect during teething and management of the same.
Teething occurs in 5 stages, usually lasts a little over 2 years, and can be a very difficult time for both babies and their parents to go through. Knowing what to anticipate during this time can help you in relieving the discomfort of your baby.
5 Stages of Teething in Kids
Stage 1: (0-6 months) Babies are born with a full set of twenty teeth beneath the gums
When a baby is born, he or she already has a full set of 20 baby teeth (milk teeth) in the jawbone under the gums. During this stage, no teeth usually emerge.
Stage 2: (6-8 months) The first teeth to erupt are the upper and lower incisors
At this time, the first teeth begin to erupt. The incisors start coming in around 6 months of age, but symptoms or signs of discomfort may become apparent before the child is 6 months old. Before emerging, the jagged edges of the teeth may press up on the gum line.
SYMPTOMS: When this begins, the baby will consequently begin chewing on hands, toys, and any other hard objects.
REMEDIES: Applying pressure to the gums can relieve the pain and serve as a diversion for babies, so parents should definitely provide their child with ample and appropriate chew items during this time.
Stage 3: (10-14 months) first baby Molars erupt
The primary molars start to emerge at this stage in the lower and upper jaws in the back of the mouth. A child’s symptoms during this stage will be similar to stage 2, but usually parents will observe a distinct increase in fussiness, drool, and the desire to chew on hard objects.
SYMPTOMS: Babies may commonly experience a loss of appetite during this time as well as begin to lose sleep at night. During stage 3, it is common for a baby’s sleep schedule to become more irregular. It is unfortunately it is pretty characteristic for both the baby and parents to lose sleep at night during this stage of teething.
- Teething rings—Supply the baby with a teething ring made of hard plastic.
- Gum massages—Applying pressure to the gums can relieve a good amount of the discomfort a baby experiences while teething. Try massaging the gums with a clean damp washcloth, clean finger, or clean dampened gauze pad.
- Bottles filled with water—try filling a baby bottle with water for your child to suck on when experiencing pain. Do not, however, fill the bottle with juice or milk for pain alleviation purposes. Prolonged contact with sugary liquids causes tooth decay.
- Chilled washcloths—a chilled washcloth may also alleviate teething pain. Allow the baby to chew on these chilled items, but do not freeze them. Objects that are too cold can injure the gums and teeth.
If a baby’s discomfort seems to become too harsh or if he or she seems to be dealing with excessive pain, contact a paediatrician for recommended over-the-counter pain relievers.
Stage 4: (16-22 months) Canine teeth will erupt
At this time, the teeth between the top and bottom molars and incisors, the canines, will emerge. The exact same recommendations as stage 2 and 3 apply for keeping a baby as comfortable as possible during this time.
Stage 5: (25-33 months) second baby molars erupt
The large molars, which are the biggest baby teeth, erupt during this stage.
SYMPTOMS: This can be the most uncomfortable stage of teething for some toddlers. During this time, parents may have a hard time soothing their child, trying their usual techniques to no avail. Parents are encouraged to try new soothing methods until something works.
REMEDIES: If the child is comfortable having solid food as part of his or her diet, hard foods that are safe to chew on may relieve teething discomfort. . Many parents have found success with giving their toddler whole solid vegetables like a peeled carrot or cucumber can be beneficial, but watch the baby closely to make sure these foods do not become choking hazards a hard vegetable to chew on, which is healthy as well.
IMPORTANT THINGS TO NOTE While your baby is teething
- Fever and diarrhoea are not a common occurrence. If your baby is suffering from fever or diarrhoea seek a doctor’s appointment. Do not sit over it attributing them to teething.
- Once the first set of teeth cuts in, remember to brush your baby’s teeth with a soft brush twice a day.
- Stop night time feeding either breast or with a bottle, to prevent tooth decay. Night time feeding can lead to tooth decay.