Is Your Baby Teething?
While it’s exciting that your child has reached this developmental stage, it can cause some uncertainty and worry. Read how you can help your child get through this stage.
Recognizing the Signs of Teething
Your child might be teething if they exhibit any of the following:
• Biting and gnawing
• Increased fussiness or irritability
• Chin rash (caused by excessive salivation)
• Swollen gums
• Ear rubbing
• Decreased appetite
• Disrupted sleep patterns
The above signs are most evident from about four days before the tooth erupts through the gums up until three days after the tooth appears.
A less common teething issue is the formation of an “eruption cyst,” a small bubble-like swelling filled with fluid that covers an erupting tooth. Eruption cysts usually don’t require treatment as the tooth will simply pop the cyst when it erupts.
While there has been some disagreement as to whether diarrhea, rashes, and fever are signs of teething, these are more likely to be associated with an unrelated illness and should be reported to your pediatrician.
How to Help Your Child During Teething
Teething babies get the most relief from cold and/or pressure on the affected area.
Give Relief to Your Child
When your child is showing signs of a tooth eruption, the following remedies can be used to give them relief from these symptoms:
• Chilled teething rings
• Cold, wet washcloths
• Chilled pacifiers
• Massaging baby’s gums
Be sure not to actually freeze your baby’s teething ring or pacifier because this could burn if left in the mouth for too long. The antiquated “remedy” of rubbing whiskey or other alcohol on the gums is neither effective nor appropriate. Over-the-counter medication may be helpful, but always consult with your pediatrician or pharmacist, and should not be rubbed on the gums because they can burn. Numbing agents should not be used on children under age 2 unless directed by your pediatrician.
If you have any questions or concerns about teething, feel free to contact our office. Remember, it’s best to start dental visits on your child’s first birthday to establish good routines and habits that will last a lifetime. We look forward to meeting your little one!