Teething and your baby: Frequently Asked Questions!

 

Teething can be a very challenging and frustrating time for both you and your baby. While teething is a natural part of development, each child experiences it differently. Some babies may start teething as early as 3 months while others may only start teething at 12 months and later. In order to help you get through the teething period, the Feelgood Health team answers frequently asked questions about baby teething.

  1. What symptoms should I look out for?

While your baby is teething, you may notice a number of symptoms such as swollen, red or bruised gums over the cutting teeth, needing something to chew on, increased saliva and drooling, mild gum pain as well as a mild to low grade fever.

Other classic symptoms include a chin rash, changes in appetite, crying, irritability and fussiness, trouble sleeping, cheek rubbing, ear tugging and diarrhea.

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  1. Which teeth usually appear first?

Your baby’s bottom front teeth (central incisors) emerge first and are followed by the four upper teeth (central and lateral incisors).

  1. Why do babies drool so much when they are teething?

According to pediatric dentists, babies drool often during teething because teething stimulates drooling. The saliva cools tender and inflamed gums but also triggers coughing and a facial rash.

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  1. Does teething cause an upset tummy?

There is no scientific evidence of an association between teething and an upset tummy. However, many parents with teething babies do experience runny poos and this could be as a result of them swallowing too much saliva. If you have a cranky baby who is crying excessively with a high fever, he or she may not actually be teething but may have an unrelated illness. In this case, it’s always best to contact your pediatrician.   

  1. When should I worry if teeth are not coming in?

As each child is different, some babies do start teething earlier than others. A baby’s first tooth usually appears between three to twelve months of age. The emergence of your baby’s teeth, whether they appear early or late is largely determined by genetics. If you and/or your hubby had their teeth early, it is most likely that your baby will too.

However, if a baby hasn’t started teething by 14 months, then it is best to consult your GP or pediatritian to make sure that there is not a problem that needs medical attention.

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  1. When should I start brushing my baby’s teeth?

As soon as you see your baby’s first tooth emerging, (usually the bottom front one) you should start cleaning the tooth twice daily. Use a piece of gauze or muslin wrapped around your finger with a tiny bit of baby toothpaste on it, and start rubbing it around your baby’s tooth. It’s perfectly fine to use a baby toothbrush too – choose one with a small head and soft, nylon bristles to allow you to clean hard-to-reach places as new teeth appear.

One of the best things about starting to clean your baby’s teeth early, is that your baby gets used to the idea of routinely cleaning teeth. Introducing good oral hygiene habits as early as possible is one of the best things you can do for your child’s dental health – and to ensure that he or she has healthy teeth well into adulthood!

  1. What teething objects are best to use to soothe my baby?

It is best to give your child hard and cold teething items or foods. Provide your body or toddler with teething rings in various textures There are a number of safe chew toys available that can also help to soothe your child’s teething pain. Make sure that teething rings and chew toys are chilled and not frozen as these can damage the gums and hurt new teeth.

You can also try special teething rusks (which do not break off into chunks). Whatever you give your baby to chew on, make sure that those little teeth can’t bite off pieces that can be choked on!  

  1. Do amber beads really help teething pain?

Nowadays you will see lots of babies and toddlers wearing amber necklaces to relieve teething pain.  Many people think that the amber beads are for chewing on. However, that is not the case.

 Amber teething necklaces are made from Baltic amber and when babies wear them, their body heat triggers succinic acid which is a naturally-occurring substance in the body. It acts as a natural painkiller to soothe sore, swollen gums..Amber is also known to have general soothing properties and can calm fretful babies. Many parents are amazed at the difference an amber teething necklace makes to a teething baby! As a safety precaution, however, be sure to take the beads off when your child goes to sleep.

Amber teething necklaces are available from the Feelgood Health shop in Westlake, Cape Town or by phoning Feelgood Health at 021 7970193 (we deliver all over South Africa)     

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  1. Are there any other ways to soothe my baby without using medications?

It is important to try and keep your baby or toddler as comfortable as possible when they are experiencing teething pain. Massage or rub your child’s gum gently using a clean chilled washcloth to ease pain and discomfort. Speak to your baby in a soothing, calm tone which will also help him to feel more relaxed.

  1. I’m not comfortable using conventional meds but do natural remedies work to ease teething pain?

Conventional medications such as teething gels contain an antiseptic and local anesthetic to relieve pain and discomfort. This provides a numbing effect but wears off quickly. Pain-killers for babies are also often used to ease pain but may cause side effects. Using natural remedies are therefore a safer and gentler alternative, which can be equally effective.

Try Feelgood Health’s range of natural remedies specially formulated to ease and relieve teething pain and support a calm and peaceful baby:

  • OralSoothe – natural homeopathic remedy which soothes sore gums, relieves the pain of teething and reduces irritability and crying
  • Sleepy Sprinkles – natural homeopathic sleep remedy which soothes and calms babies from 0 to 12 months and helps to establish healthy sleeping patterns.
  • Du Du Drops – natural sleep remedy which calms and relaxes toddlers and children and promotes peaceful and regular sleep

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 Although it may seem as though teething will never end, don’t worry! All babies get through this stage and before you know it, there will be a perfect cute set of milk teeth shining at you every time your baby or toddler flashes those pearly whites! With the help of natural remedies and lots of love, your baby’s first teeth will soon come shining through!

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