Baby Teething Symptoms and Remedies - Health Education - DesiMD Healthcare - India

Baby Teething Symptoms and Remedies

Authored by DesiMD Doctor on 5 May 2016 - 10:39


Teething is considered an important event in the growth and development of a child. Parents most often get troubled when their infants don't have a tooth by around 9 to 10 months of age. While teething is a normal part of infant development, very little is known about the symptoms and its management. Infants show their first tooth as early as 3 months and 2-3 years for a full set of gleaming teeth to appear.

When do baby teeth start to appear?

Babies usually begin teething between 4 to 6 months of age. The process starts as the roots commence to grow forcing the tooth up, which puts pressure on the baby's gums making him feel irritated and uncomfortable. During the teething timeline, you will observe some signs like decreased appetite or drooling, indicating that the teething process has started. Between the ages of one and three your baby will grow his full set of 20 teeth. Many dentists suggest for an initial visit before the child's 1st birthday to ensure that the teeth and gums are cleaned properly.

Teething symptoms: A study conducted at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation published in the journal of Pediatrics examined 125 children from their 3 month check up through their first birthday and revealed that during teething, some babies showed the following signs:

  • Drooling
  • Sucking
  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite
  • Biting
  • Mild temperature
  • Gum rubbing
  • Wakefulness
  • Pain
  • Facial rash

The symptoms appear 3 to 5 days before the tooth erupts and goes away once the tooth breaks through the gum. Dr Michael a spokesman for the American Academy of Pediatric says that a baby's reaction to teething depends upon his persoanlity, his tolerance for pain and how thick his gums are.

What to expect during teething?

  • Tooth development: Baby teeth (primary teeth), erupts around 6 months of age, even though it can be as early as three months or as late as one year of age. Rarely, a baby the first tooth after his or her first birthday. Most children have all their 20 primary teeth by age of three.
  • Pacifiers: A pacifier or soother use during nighttime can help prevent sudden infant death syndrome and alos satisfy the suck reflex. Sucking is a normal part of development that is comforting to children well into their first years of life. 
    Dr. Evelna Weidman Sterling, co-author of Your Child's Teeth: A complete Guide for Parents says, “Pacifier use after age 4, which is when permanent teeth start to come in, can have major long-lasting effects on adult teeth”
  • Baby bottle tooth decay: Tooth decay happens when acid formed by bacteria on the teeth, (from sugars in foods and beverages), harms the tooth enamel, causing demineralization, finally leading to a cavity.

How to deal with teething symptoms?

  • Cold things:  Soak a washcloth in chamomile tea, and put it in a clean plastic bag and let it chill in the refrigerator. Let your child munch on the chilled and soaked washcloth, it helps massage the ridges in your baby's gums while the cold numbs the pain. You can also try a refrigerated teether or pacifier. Make sure you don't freeze the pacifier or teether in the freezer, because it hurts. Liquid-filled teethers and firm rubber teething rings also do the trick.
  • Pressure: Teething babies enjoy feeling the pressure on their gums as it helps distract their brain from the sensation of teething pain. If your baby ignores cold items, chewing a teether at room temperature may also work. There are also some teethers that vibrate. Choose the one that helps your child.
  • Topical medication: There are many numbing gels and creams that are available over the counter to soothe teething pain of your child. However, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) strictly warns against the use of topical medications containing benzocaine on children under 2 years of age without doctor's advice. According to The Pharmaceutical Journal, topical agents that include local anaesthetics normally lidocaine-based preparations provide rapid, albeit temporary pain relief.
  • Painkillers: Acetaminophen (available over the counter) helps relieve discomfort and pain. Ibuprofen is another pain relieving drug recommended by doctors to help alleviate inflammation in your baby's gums. According to the Indian Journal of Dental Clinics, the conservative use of acetaminophen and ibuprofen can assist in the discomfort caused by teething.

General Advice: The Pharmaceutical Journal strictly suggests parents not to add jam, sugar or honey to a feeding bottle and also not to dip a pacifier in a sugary food substance as these remedies have no pain-relieving effect and can cause dental decay and pain.

Tips to keep your baby's new teeth healthy and strong: Dr Cynthia Sherwood, a spokeswoman for the Academy of General Dentistry recommends the below mentioned tips:

  • The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends parents to ensure that they take their baby for first dental exam by age one. The dentist will check for early signs of tooth decay and will clean the gums and teeth properly.
  • Brushing your infant's teeth with tap water is recommended as it contains fluoride, required for developing teeth and bones. Wait for your child to be 2 years old before using fluoride toothpaste to brush.
  • Avoid letting kids fall asleep with a bottle or sipper containing juice or milk that sits in the back of the top two front teeth. It causes cavities.

Primary teeth are developed in the following order according to the Pharmaceutical Journal:

  • Central incisors: 8-12 months of age
  • Lateral incisors: 9-13 months of age
  • Canine teeth: 16-22 months of age
  • First molars: 13-19 months of age
  • Second molars: 25-33 months of age

    The order of lower primary teeth:

  • Central incisors: 6-10 months of age
  • Lateral incisors: 10-16 months of age
  • Canine teeth: 17-23 months of age
  • First molars: 14-18 months of age
  • Second molars: 23-31 months of age

Between 6 -12 years of age, the roots of these 20 "baby" teeth deteriorates, allowing their replacement with 32 permanent "adult" teeth. 





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