SOME OF US remember the soreness and discomfort of our incoming adult molars, not to mention how hard it was to chew. Your mouth was tender and it was uncomfortable during this time. It’s the same for teething toddlers. The babies and small children cannot clearly tell you about their discomfort, but there’s a lot parents can do to help their child through this phase.
Beginning around six months, babies might start showing symptoms. This could include excessive drooling, reduced willingness to breastfeed, swollen gums, a slightly raised temp (less than 101), coughing, rubbing cheek or pulling ear, rejecting food they used to like, difficulty sleeping, or general irritability. They might start biting, chewing, and sucking on everything they can reach or avoid it as much as they can. If you have more than one child, you may find each one to respond to teeting slightly different.
If you are seeing more drastic symptoms where you child seems to be sick, this is a great time to call your peditrician. A high fever, cough or congestion or other symptoms of illness are often more than teething. A doctor can properly diagnose.
Helping Soothe the Discomfort
Continuing breastfeeding can reduce teething pain, as can teething toys, which help the teeth cut through the gums faster while soothing discomfort. Avoid teething toys containing PVC, BPA, or phthalates, however, as these chemicals could be harmful if ingested. Studies have found these chemicals to have a possible link to a wide variety of health issues including: fertility issues, birth defects, early onset puberty, childhood obesity, and more. If the toy is full of gel, make sure it’s sturdy enough that a child won’t be able to reach the gooey center. Toys that can be chilled in the fridge and have clips to fasten to clothing are a good idea.
Rubbing your baby’s gums sometimes provides your child some relief. You can massage your child’s gums with your clean finger. A cold wash cloth, spoon, or chilled pacifier can also help. Some parents find cold water in a sippy cup to be helpful. You can also find unsweetened teething crackers at grocery stores. It’s key that you don’t introduce your child to sugar as this isn’t good for their health. Try multiple methods to see what satisfies your child the best.
Kingsport Pediatric Dentistry provides dental services for children and adolescents in the East Tennessee Area. We strive to provide a fun, caring, and child-friendly environment. We are here to help your children form healthy oral hygiene habits and help them take care of their teeth. We are conveniently located in Kingsport at 1741 Moreland Drive. To make an appointment with one of Kingsport Pediatric Dentistry‘s doctors, please call: 423-247-1994.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.