Baby teething is the process in which a baby's first teeth start to emerge through the gums. Teething usually begins around six months of age but can start earlier or later. During teething, the baby's gums may become swollen and sore, which can cause discomfort and fussiness. Some common signs and symptoms of teething include: excessive drooling, biting or chewing on objects, irritability or fussiness, refusal to eat or drink, disturbed sleep patterns, low-grade fever, and swollen and red gums.
As the teeth continue to emerge, they may cause additional discomfort and the baby may experience pain. However, once the teeth have fully emerged, the discomfort typically subsides. The order in which the baby's teeth come in can vary, but typically the front bottom teeth are the first to emerge, followed by the front top teeth and then the molars. It's important to note that while teething can cause discomfort, it is a natural and normal process of development.
During this process, babies' gums can go through a lot of changes, which can in fact cause discomfort and irritation. Here are some tips for promoting healing and comfort for your baby's gums:
- Gentle Massage: You can use a clean finger or a damp cloth to gently massage your baby's gums. This can help to relieve discomfort and stimulate blood flow to the gums, which can promote healing.
- Teething Toys: Teething toys made of safe materials can be helpful for babies to chew on to soothe their gums. Make sure to choose toys that are appropriate for your baby's age and are free from any choking hazards.
- Cold Compress: You can use a clean, damp washcloth that has been chilled in the refrigerator to provide relief to your baby's sore gums. Alternatively, you can use a teething ring that has been cooled in the refrigerator (not the freezer).
- Pain Relief: If your baby is in a lot of discomfort, you can use over-the-counter pain relievers designed for infants, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, as directed by your pediatrician.
- Keep it clean: Ensure that your baby's gums are kept clean by wiping them with a clean, damp washcloth after each feeding. This will help to prevent infection and promote healing.
If you are concerned about your baby's gums or teeth, or if your baby seems to be in a lot of pain, it's always a good idea to consult with your pediatrician.
There are a wide variety of teething toys available, and the best one for your baby will depend on their age, preferences, and level of teething discomfort. Here are some popular types of teething toys that are often recommended by pediatricians and parents and that you can also find on JoiKids website:
- Silicone teething rings: These are soft and flexible, making them ideal for babies to chew on. They are easy to grip and come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
- Natural wooden teethers: Made from natural wood, these teething toys are durable and can provide a different texture for babies to chew on. Make sure to choose wooden teethers that are made from natural, non-toxic wood.
- Soft teething toys: Some babies may prefer soft, plush toys that are easy to hold and cuddle. Look for teething toys that are made from non-toxic materials and can be washed easily.
- Teething necklaces: These necklaces are designed to be worn by caregivers and can provide a safe, convenient way for babies to chew and play while being held.
- Water-filled teethers: These are made from a soft, plastic material that can be filled with water and chilled in the refrigerator. The cold temperature can help to soothe sore gums.
It's important to always supervise your baby when they are using a teething toy and to regularly inspect the toy for any signs of damage or wear. Make sure to choose teething toys that are age-appropriate and free from any choking hazards.
Once again, in case of any doubts, it is always recommended to ask a pediatrician or a specialist.