It’s enough to make any new parent who had dreams of her baby finally sleeping through the night want to collapse, yet don’t fear. You may have a lucky child with no teething problems—but even if it’s a struggle, here are some tips to get through teething woes.
When will my baby start teething?
Although your baby’s first tooth can appear anytime between three and 12 months, sometime during the seventh month is the average arrival time.
What are the symptoms?
These symptoms can start two to three months before the first tooth arrives, and vary between children:
- Gum swelling and sensitivity
- Irritability or fussiness
- Biting, or gnawing on objects
- Refusing food
- Sleep problems
- Pulling on ears-to relieve throbbing pain in the head
Some parents claim diarrhea, fevers and diaper rashes are symptoms, however experts disagree about whether teething actually causes these — or whether these symptoms just coincidentally appear at the same time.
How can I help?
1. Cold teething rings or washcloths: the cold ring or cloth numbs the pain and allows the baby to break down some of the gum tissue, which promotes teeth growth.
2. Rub the gums or teeth firmly with your finger: at first this may sting, but the pressure will ease your baby’s sore gums.
3. Feed them cold foods: such as yogurt, or applesauce that alleviate the discomfort.
4. Give medication as a last resort: some doctors recommend a small dose of children’s pain reliever such as infants’ acetaminophen, or rubbing a medicated gel on the gums — but check with your doctor before giving your baby any medication.
*Never give your baby aspirin or even rub it on his or her gums to stop the pain. The use of aspirin in children is associated with Reye’s syndrome, a rare but potentially life-threatening condition.
When do I take my baby to the dentist?
The American Dental Association recommends that babies see a dentist by age one, when six to eight teeth are in place, to spot any potential problems and advise parents about preventive care.
Dr. Kevin Klenke practices dentistry the San Antonio Dental office Wurzbach Parkway Family Dental. He has four children, so he understands the teething process and hopes these tips will help you through that exciting stage.