Teething can be a scary and difficult time for parents. There are a lot of rumors floating around that can make people very nervous and unsure about what exactly to expect. Knowing the basic timeline for teething and how it will affect your baby is the best way to be aware of what’s normal, and what might be a cause for concern.
Your baby’s first tooth should pop up around the fourth month, but it can take up to ten. From then on until around the age of 3, your child’s mouth will slowly fill up with new baby teeth. This is the time when your child is most likely to become fussy, irritated, and to cry from the pain and discomfort that rupturing teeth can cause. Some children end up with a mouthful of perfect teeth without any added problems, but the majority of parents will notice changes in behavior and extra sensitivity.
One of the main issues facing most parents is discomfort at night and your child having a hard time staying asleep. While it can be easy to blame everything on teething, it’s important to remember that it’s not an illness. Vomiting, diarrhea, and fever are not associated with teething, and they are reasons to seek medical attention. A baby biting, dribbling excessively, and getting fussy are reasons to check and see if small bumps have formed on their gums—these are their new teeth.
Dealing with Pain
One of the main ways you can soother your baby’s discomfort is by giving them something to gnaw on. Teething rings, bottles, or anything else big, sturdy, and clean will help your baby deal with the pain of new teeth. It’s important to remember that you don’t want to give them anything that could be a choking hazard, and objects meant for gnawing should be avoided at night and always used under your close supervision.
Many parents find that rubbing a small amount of sugar on the gums can also help their children sleep through the night. Topical pain relief gels are also a popular solution, but there have been recent warnings from the FDA about avoiding accidental overdose. Applying too much topical gel can lead to the child ingesting too much of the pain medication.
The best thing to do when you believe your child is teething is consult with your pediatric dentist. Your child should have their first dental visit in the first year, so making an appointment at the first signs of teething is the perfect opportunity to discuss options with a professional who will have guidance and advice to get you through this uncomfortable time.