Teething usually begins when your child reaches 4-8 months. At this time, the front teeth will start to erupt, or push through, the gums. This can be very painful for your child. They’ll want to stick things in their mouth to alleviate their pain, so make sure you watch what your child puts in their mouth. Until they’re about two years old, when the back molars grow in, your child will continue teething, so keep a look out for the symptoms.
The symptoms will begin several days before the first tooth erupts. Symptoms include:
- Disrupted sleep
- Swelling or inflammation of the gums
- Loss of appetite
- Rash around the mouth
- Increased biting
- Increased gum-rubbing and ear-rubbing
In some cases, your child could experience fevers or diarrhea. In minor cases, this is okay, but if these symptoms persist or worsen over time, call your doctor. At this time in your child’s life, they are building their own immune systems, so they tend to get sick very easily, and it could very easily become serious. Also be cautious of consistent ear-rubbing. This is also a symptom of an ear infection, so if this continues or worsens, contact your doctor.
For most people, teething is no big deal. It’s just a little painful for your child, so here are some ways to help:
The most common thing to use is using either an ice cube or a popsicle that your child
can suck on. You can get teethings rings or chew beads from the store, put them in the
fridge so they’re cold, and give them to your child whenever they need to gnaw on
something. Make sure, though, that the teething ring or chew beads are chilled but never
frozen. This is because frozen things can injure your child’s gums. You can also try a
simple cold, wet cloth that your child can suck on. Make sure to be careful of what your
child is putting in their mouth because they could choke on it.
With a low grade fever, give your child some pain medication like children’s Tylenol. If the fever continues above 101 degrees, contact your doctor. That could be a sign that it is more than teething.
(DO NOT use medications containing benzocaine because they may cause serious and
potentially lethal side effects.)
You can massage your child’s gums with a clean finger for one to two minutes. This could alleviate the pain for your child.
Excessive drooling can cause a rash around your child’s mouth, cheeks, chin, and neck
area, so try to keep the area as clean as possible. Even applying a simple barrier cream
can help with dry or rashy skin. You can also try over the counter teething ointments to
numb the gums. Ask your dentist or doctor for recommendations.
Let your child know that you’re there for them when they’re in pain. Skin to skin contact
with your child can often alleviate some pain.
The pain and duration is different for each child, so it could be better or worse depending. Just make sure to keep an eye on your child and their condition to see what can be done to help them.