Oh, the joys of teething. Those gums are so itchy momma! Nibbling fingers, gumming the dummy, and everything goes straight to the mouth. Will there ever be relief?
We want the best for our children, and help them grow up and thrive, right? Let’s see what we can do about that need to chew.
First, let’s get the facts straight.
Babies will usually start teething at around 6 months old, however it is not uncommon for babies to start earlier. In fact, sometimes babies are born with a tooth or two, already out!
Your baby will drool a bit more, and constantly look for something to gum, or nibble on their fingers. Some babies may have an upset tummy, keep pulling on their ears or even have a mild rise in temperature. Remember that each baby is different and unique. The nerves supplying the gums can actually cause referred pain to the ears and therefor the ear pulling.
Since this is a somewhat painful ordeal, they will be fussy now and then too. Yup, it’s not just a temper tantrum. We are pouting because life is full of itchy gums and drooling, all over our fresh outfits, and you just wouldn’t understand!
Now that we have the when and the what, we can look at what to do to make the little munchkin feel better!
To the dentist!
Yes, this is a bit early to do anything major, but it is always great to have your baby get to know the dentist. The dentist will take a peek for any abnormalities and might give you some advice with their top tricks on dental hygiene for a baby.
Your dentist can also apply some fluoride to your baby’s teeth when the time is right, to help preserve and protect them.
Rubbing your baby’s gums gently can bring them a lot of relief, as it stimulates blood flow and provides a soft relief to the greatest itch of their tiny lives. Thumb sucking and dummies may recreate the sensation as well.
We got this
There are a variety of “chew toys”, such as a teething ring, available. Placing them in the refrigerator or in an ice water bucket for a while to make it cool, can help tremendously. However, you should not freeze them. Plus, if we aren’t chewing on them, they make great weapons of not-so-much destruction for an oncoming tantrum! A lot softer than that hard blow to the head via baby-rattle, huh?
If you are starting on solids, opt for a baby spoon with a silicone covering, to offer a soft chewing surface, as normal cutlery can be uncomfortable to use.
You should start a toothbrush-routine from tooth number 1. This will help your baby get used to a routine, provide some added fluoride and prevent tooth decay.
The light brushing will also help to clean the gums and tongue, and sooth some of that itchiness.
When to ask for help
If your baby is experiencing a fever or you suspect that the pain is more than some teething gel could handle, you may need to administer some pain medicine. You can ask your pharmacists or clinic sisters for advice on over-the-counter treatments, suitable for babies.
If the fever persists, you should take your baby to your doctor or local clinic, as it may then be something more than just teething. It might be good to have their ears checked out.
Read more: Earaches – the balancing act
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