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Having a baby means celebrating milestones after milestones.
Their first word, the first moment they stood on both feet, their first walk. Every moment is just precious and worthy to look back to years from now.
Another first that you’d be looking forward to is their first tooth; when they start baby teething.
However, it is not like the other firsts because it involves discomfort. You hate to look at your little munchkin suffering even just the tiniest bit so you want to do something about it.
That’s why we need to learn about baby teething.
When do babies start teething?
What most people don’t know is babies already start to develop tooth buds inside the womb. When they reach 4 to 7 months, most of them start to show those first teeth.
Baby teething chart
The timeline indicates what usually happens. It’s ultimately a case-to-case basis. There are babies that show as early as the 3rd month. There are also those who take up to over a year. In such cases, you don’t have to worry because it’s perfectly normal.
Your baby is already old enough but what if they are not teething yet?
Like we mentioned earlier, the age at which a child starts to show their first tooth varies.
It can come just like most kids (at 4 to 7 months), but it can also occur much, much later. In fact, late teething can be a reason to celebrate; the later it gets out, the less tooth decay there will be.
However, if your baby has already reached 18 months and there are still no signs of that first tooth—no bumps whatsoever protruding from the gums—you might want to consult a dentist.
Baby teething symptoms
There are babies who are not affected by teething symptoms but for those who are, these can range from minor sleeping issues to swollen gums that can last from less than a week to a few months.
If you notice that your baby is showing a combination of these signs, it’s most likely they’re already teething. However, considering how common these are for babies, it’s also possible it’s something else.
Surprisingly enough, there are a lot of parents who believe that fever and diarrhea are normal symptoms of teething.
It is true that the baby’s temperature can slightly rise during teething. But only very slightly. If it reaches up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, you might want to get your baby checked by a doctor. Same goes if they suffer from diarrhea or both because these aren’t normal teething symptoms.
How can you alleviate pain from baby teething?
There are a lot of baby teething remedies you can turn to if you want to manage the symptoms of baby teething. Experts suggest parents stick with natural means as much as possible. There are medications available, but they should be used only when necessary.
Natural remedies for teething pain in babies
Discomfort due to teething is usually concentrated on the affected gums. This can be alleviated through gentle massages around the area using fingers
Teething rings can also help ease the pressure on the tooth. Before giving it to your baby, you can put it in the fridge because the cold will help numb the gums.
Instead of teething rings, you can also use a washcloth. Simply wet it on one end and put it in the fridge to cool. Teething biscuits are also an option but take note that these are not so good for your baby in terms of nutritional value.
There are pain relievers available but most of them get easily washed off because teething babies tend to drool so much.
Another reason why you might want to avoid them is the fact that they can impede the babies’ ability to swallow if they numb the back of their throats.
If your baby is experiencing severe discomfort or real fever, it’s best to get help from your physician. They’re most likely going to suggest acetaminophen or ibuprofen to be given to your baby at very small doses.
What to avoid
You might have stumbled upon teething tablets upon your search for ways to take your baby’s pain away.
But FDA suggests you avoid these because they can potentially harm your children. According to them, these tablets contain belladonna and benzocaine which, if taken in high amounts, can have adverse effects on the baby.
What you should do: A Care Plan
Add fluoride to your baby’s diet after 6 months
It’s common knowledge that fluoride is effective in tooth decay prevention. What’s not so common is the experts’ advice on adding it to your baby’s diet. Tap water already contains the right amount of fluoride needed by an infant. Making your baby drink fluoridated water is safe but if you are still having doubts about it, you can discuss it with your dentist.
Start brushing your child’s teeth twice daily
It’s imperative that, as early as having their first tooth, you brush your baby’s teeth two times a day. And it’s best to use fluoride toothpaste around less than half the size of a pea.
Oral care should begin as early as this stage.
By the time they reach 3 years old, you can teach them how to properly brush their teeth on their own. But it’s important to keep them supervised especially when it comes to putting the toothpaste.
First visit to the dentist
Part of oral care is having a “dental home”. A lot of kids are afraid of the dentist and sad to say, a lot of parents don’t realize the importance of having one until it’s a little too late.
Include it in your plans to set an appointment with the dentist the moment your baby’s first tooth erupted or they turned 1 year old.
This ensures that all your baby’s teeth are growing the way they should. You can also get helpful advice from these professionals on how to maintain proper oral hygiene.
Teething marks another step in your baby’s growth. There’s no doubt that you want to make it easy for them as much as you can. We’ve provided you with everything you have to know about baby teething so the rest is up to you now. Good luck!