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Teething – common questions

Teething – common questions
September 22
11:47 2015

Your baby’s teeth development started in utero and that is when tooth buds were formed in his gums. Now as his teeth are trying to push through his gums, this causing them to be painful and swollen.

Many a times pressure on the baby’s teeth from chewing could relieve his pain, but your baby’s gums sensitive at this time. This is the reason he may turn away when you try to feed him.

Teething can be a long and painful process for kids. In this articles we will discuss some of the most frequently asked questions about teething.

How will I know when my baby starts teething?

You are likely to notice the following symptoms in a teething baby:

  • swollen gums or reddish gums
  • flushed cheeks or face
  • drooling much more than usual
  • baby is biting or sucking or rubbing his gums
  • may have trouble sleeping
  • may not be feeding well
  • seems cranky or irritated

The baby is also likely to have diarrhoea or temperature right before a tooth breaks through. However, simply don’t assume that these symptoms can only be caused by teething, it is best to see a doctor if you are worried.

What will be the best way soothe the pain in my baby’s gums?

Give your baby something which is cool to bite as it is likely to relieve the pressure and ease some pain. You could also try the following:

  • To numb the pain temporarily, you could try rubbing a clean finger over your baby’s gums.
  • Giving him a teething ring could also help. Try to choose a solid, silicone-based teething rings rather than liquid-filled products. The liquid filled products could leak and also, those cannot be sterilised. To cool the teething rings a bit, you can try putting the teething ring in the fridge for some time before giving it to your baby, however don’t put it in the freezer.

If you have already started soft food for your baby (only advised if the baby is already six months old), you could also let him chew on soft foods which are cool, like banana. However do not use hard foods which could potentially be a choking hazard.

Are teething gels or alternative remedies effective?

Generally the teething gel has a local anaesthetic as well as an antiseptic, and helps in easing the pain and preventing infection. Rub a small amount of gel on the sore gum with a clean finger and it is likely to have a brief numbing effect.

Teething gels generally wear off quickly and are many a times washed away by baby’s saliva. If you decide on using teething gel, please make sure that you chose a gel that does not have any sugar and is specifically for babies. Always follow the instructions on the pack and don’t apply more than the instructions suggest.

Many people swear by homeopathic remedies for teething. These usually come in small packets or sweet pill form that you put in your baby’s mouth or mix with cooled and boiled water to give to your baby a few spoons of that water. There is no evidence yet that suggests that these remedies work, however some mums swear by them.

Can I give my baby infant paracetamol?

You can give the baby infant paracetamol or infant ibuprofen if needed. However never exceed the dosage recommended by your doctor. Check the dosage on the packet or ask your doctor if you are not sure how much to give your baby.

However, before you start medicating your child, do check if there’s something else that is upsetting your baby. Sometimes, ear infections can be mistaken for teething.

How long will teething last?

For most babies, teething start sat around six months, however, it can happen at any time, till his first birthday. Also, teething could go on for a year or more. However it is likely that your baby’s first few teeth will be more painful and the next few teeth will come with relative ease. However, when the molars come, the baby might be troubled again as those are the largest teeth.

Whichever method you choose for easing your baby’s teething, remember that it is a phase and it will pass, be prepared to give lots of cuddles to your little one.

Image courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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