Teething pain relief is something that becomes the most important thing for parents once the tiny one starts getting teeth.
Teething is a very important milestone our kids achieve. And as parents, it is difficult for us to see our kids in teething pain.
If your baby had no trouble at all while teething, you are one lucky parent (Yay ! I am one of them).
It is not easy to calm a teething baby, who has so much irritation in the gums and can not tell you what is wrong. So, let us first discuss a little bit about the how what, when and why of teething and then we will move on to the home remedies to soothe the teething pain.
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When does teething start??
Teething can start any time between the age of 3 months to 18 months.
Some kids are even born with teeth, and these teeth are called natal teeth. These are mainly the front lower 2 teeth. Some kids get these front lower teeth within the first month of life. These are then known as neonatal teeth. Usually, these are small and are mobile due to underdeveloped roots. For this you need to visit a dentist (pediatric dentist) and if your dentist suggests you can get them removed.
The maximum you can wait for the first tooth to erupt in your baby’s mouth is till the age of 18 months.
All the 20 milk teeth will erupt by the age of 3 years.
What are the signs that your baby is teething??
There might be a lot of confusion about why the baby is so cranky. Here are the symptoms you need to look for to know for sure that your baby is teething:
1. Irritability: Your child might be irritable, and might be too clingy. You might find him or her crying uncontrollably. This can be a sign of teething as the child might have a lot of irritation in the gums.
2. Gnawing or wanting to chew on everything: Normally kids put everything in their mouth to explore the world around them. But while teething this becomes excessive, they feel like chewing on everything they get, especially the hard stuff. Just make sure whatever they put in their mouth is always clean.
3. Excessive Drooling: Excessive drooling is one of the symptoms of teething. Just make sure to keep the baby’s face dry by wiping immediately, and yes, you might need some extra bibs!
4. Reduced Appetite: Your child might suddenly start eating less. So, do not force-feed your baby. Just keep offering food and let the child decide the quantity. The breastfeeding child might get too clingy and ask for feeding more frequently. Here the mom will have to be a little more patient.
5. Swollen Gums: You might see your child’s gums are a little bit red and swollen. Most children get the lower front teeth first, so this is the region of gums mostly seen as swollen and red.
What are the home remedies for soothing the teething gums??
Home remedies for teething pain in babies is what most parents are looking for. Yes, it is possible to get at home remedies for the teething pain. Here is what you need to do at home, to give your child teething pain relief and a good night sleep.
Teethers are the best friend for your baby to get teething pain relief. There are various type of teethers available in the market, and you will have to choose the best for your child. You can check our articles for the 10 best teethers available in India.
It is better to avoid gel-filled or water-filled teethers. If the erupting tooth is sharp it can puncture the teether and there might be a chance that your child will swallow the liquid or the gel.
There are a number of teethers available in the market to help in relieving the teething pain and you are the one to decide the best for your child.
What do you need to keep in the mind before buying a teether?
- Material: Silicone or wooden teethers. Both silicone and wooden teethers are available in the market and you will have to choose which one would you want to buy for your child. Plastic teethers should be avoided completely. The teether you buy should be BPA free.
- Colours: Look for attractive colours. Let the child choose the favourite colour of the teether you have selected.
- Shape: Make sure your child can easily put the teether in his or her mouth and that the teether is not very bulky. Also, you can check if the teether will reach the molar region of your child’s mouth. You can go for teething rings which are a big hit among teething babies.
- No sharp margins or beads: Also look for any sharp margins or beads that might be there in the teether which if broken can be swallowed. It is better to choose a teether which comes as one piece and does not have any parts.
- Easy to hold: Make sure the teether is easy to hold, so that your child feels comfortable holding and directing it into the mouth.
You can keep the teether in the fridge (NOT FREEZER) for around half an hour before you give it to your child to help soothe the teething pain.
Make sure the teether is always clean.
2. A Wash cloth:
A clean and cold washcloth is all that is required sometimes to do the trick. You can keep it in the fridge for around 30-60 minutes after dipping it in clean water and just give your child to nibble on it whenever required. Make sure there are no loose threads. Let the little one use it for how much ever time he or she wants. The cold cloth will help in reducing the irritation and the redness in the gums, thus relieving the teething pain.
Massage your baby’s gums 4-5 times a day using a clean cold cloth or a moist gauge piece wrapped around your finger. This will surely help in relieving some teething pain and discomfort.
4. Become your baby’s chew toy:
Yes this helps. Make sure your hands are clean and let your child gnaw on your fingers. Might be you have a little discomfort but your child will enjoy it for sure and the teething pain will reduce.
5. Metal spoon:
Imagine, you had no idea that your child has started teething, and suddenly at night your child is cranky and crying and irritable, and you suddenly notice, ohhh the gums are sore. At this point you do not have any teether with you, so a metal spoon comes handy here. Use the blunt end of the spoon and let your child chew over it. This will help in reducing the pain and discomfort. But, make sure the child doesn’t hurt himself or herself and let this be done only under supervision of an adult.
You can also cool the metal spoon in the fridge for 30 minutes and give your child to chew on.
6. Fruit nibblers:
If your child is older that 6 months and has started eating fruits, you can put the child’s favorite fruit in the nibbler and freeze it and then give it to your child. It will be nutritious as well as help soothe the sour gums.
But make sure the child doesn’t keep dropping it and putting it back in the mouth.
This Fisher-Price teether can help your child nibble on his or her favorite fruits.
7. Teething sticks or biscuits
If your child has started eating solids, and can chew well you can try the teething sticks and biscuits available in the market. But make sure to read the ingredients and check for anything that might cause allergy to your child.
Also the teething sticks and biscuits can be easily broken, so it is better to give it to the child only under supervision to prevent any kind of chocking.
8. Milk Popsicle:
You can even make milk popsicle and give it to you child. It will help in reducing the redness and relieving the teething pain. Also your child might just enjoy it in the summers.
If you find no relief in the teething pain even after doing all the above home remedies, you can try giving acetaminophen (but only if you have been previously giving it), in the dosage as prescribed by your physician. If you need to give it more than once, then the best thing to do is visit a pediatrician as there might be some other cause of the crankiness.
Are the oral gels available in the market safe??
There are a lot of oral gels available in the market for kids, which say that they will help in soothing the teething pain. But is it recommended to use them? The answer is NO.
The FDA recommends against using these teething gels as they contain Benzocaine which is a local anesthetic and gets swallowed by the child to sometimes cause serious conditions such as methemoglobinemia, where the oxygen caring capacity of the red blood cells is reduced drastically.
So, it is better to avoid such gels which are available in the market.
When to visit a medical specialist??
- If you have tried all the above home remedies and still you are not able to console your child, it is time to visit a medical specialist.
- If your child is having a high grade fever (above 100.4 degrees), it is time to visit a medical specialist.
- If your child is having loose motions, vomiting, cough or cold, it is time to visit a medical specialist.
- If your child is having a body rash, it is time to visit a medical specialist.
Tips and tricks!
If you are a nursing mother and your child has been biting you while feeding, massage your baby’s gums with a clean cold moist cotton cloth immediately before feeding and if still the baby bites, withdraw and say no. You can feed after some time again.
You can also pump and give in a bottle or use a nipple shield. But make sure whatever you use is properly sterilized before every use.
Some kids drool excessively while teething. If this goes for your child, then make sure your child’s face is always dry, as in case the drool dries on the face your child might get rashes. Also you can apply a moisturizer to prevent the drool from sticking to the face.
You might need an extra set of bibs if your child drools during teething.
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