Is your 6 months old being very cranky these days? Their irritability and crankiness may be teething symptoms.
This is the time when your baby’s teeth erupt from their gum line.
The sensations make them uneasy which is why they are likely to burst into tears at this time.
At times they may erupt even before that usually around 4 months.
This process continues till they are 2 years old and all of their teeth have erupted.
However, it is very difficult to handle a baby when they are showing teething symptoms.
This article discusses how you can cope with your baby’s odontiasis irritability and pain.
What Are The Teething Symptoms?
As the tooth begins to erupt from the gum, there is discomfort in the jaw and gums.
There are sore gums that also become swollen and tender.
The tooth prepares to erupt and comes beneath the surface of the gum tissue.
As a result, the gum area becomes red.
A fluid-filled blister can form over the tooth that is about to erupt.
Also, molars are more painful while erupting rather than the incisors as they have a larger area.
Babies start teething at 6 months and can continue till 2 years of age.
Children do not feel any pain when permanent teeth erupt, however, the eruption of baby teeth is indeed painful for them and can cause them huge discomfort in the forms discussed below.
- Babies cry and become fussy because of the pain and discomfort in the gums and jaw
- As the gums are sore they decline food
- They have an urge to chew and gnaw something hard
- The discomfort and pain disrupts their sleep
- They keep bringing their hand to their mouth
- They drool a lot and sometimes that gets on their face to make a rash
- Babies will rub their cheeks and ear because of feeling pain there
Are Fever and Diarrhea Teething Symptoms?
Your child may rarely have a mild fever.
Any fever that is above 101 degrees Fahrenheit is not related to teething.
Hence, if your child shows signs of a high fever, that is probably another viral infection happening alongside teeth eruption and not due to that.
Therefore, do not brush it off as a teething symptom as it might be dangerous for your baby’s life.
Similarly, diarrhea in babies during the time of teething is not its sign or symptom. Nor is vomiting.
Furthermore, it also does not cause coughing and runny nose.
The appearance of rashes all around the body does not signify teething either.
Neither does very long fussiness and crankiness in your child.
It is definitely not normal to notice bleeding gums and swelling or pus formation on their face.
Hence, if your child is displaying any of these signs, remember that it is not due to teething.
It is best to visit your doctor at the earliest and get your baby checked.
These can be signs of a serious infection that immunodeficient babies are not well equipped to fight.
Tooth Eruption Order
When you notice these symptoms in your child it is likely that you will be curious about their first tooth.
Your child’s first tooth is usually the top or bottom front one.
These are known as the central incisors and they come around 6 to 12 months of age.
The lateral incisors come in the meanwhile between 9 to 16 months.
Followed by first molars that appear between 13 to 19 months and canines that come in between 16 to 23 months.
Lastly, second molars erupt by the time your baby is 22 to 24 months old.
Usually, all of their baby teeth erupt by the time they are three years old.
These teeth will start falling by your child is 6 years old.
Their roots degenerate and they fall after building space for permanent teeth.
Then the 32 adult teeth appear sans wisdom teeth by they are 12 years old.
Wisdom teeth erupt between 17 to 21 years old or even later.
However, since they do not play a part in chewing or grinding, they only contribute to overcrowding.
Therefore, they are usually removed.
Soothing A Baby With Teething Symptoms
Your child will every cranky and fussy, however as a parent, you should try to relieve them of some pain even if it is hard to soothe a teething baby.
Gently rubbing and pressing on the gums helps put some pressure on the erupting teeth.
Make sure your finger is totally clean before you massage your baby’s gums.
Also, if they have no teeth, you can let them gnaw on your finger and during nursing dip your finger in water and let them gnaw in that first.
You can also put something cold like a cold pacifier inside their mouth for them to gnaw on.
A teething toy or a clean cool washcloth can help too.
These cold items can soothe the inflammation in the gums.
However, keep them in only for a short time as cold objects can also damage their mouth, so can hard objects.
Remember to wash them before every use and after the baby gnaws on them.
Also, be wary of using teething biscuits or any item that your child may swallow and could result in choking.
Moreover, you can also give them cold water in a sippy cup if they are over 6 months.
Treatment for Teething Symptoms
Beware of homeopathic medicines and teething gels containing benzocaine.
Benzocaine has been linked with causing methemoglobinemia which limits the supply of red blood cells in the body.
Topical medicines that you rub on your child’s teeth also do not show any benefit.
Their effect is very little and can even numb their throat making swallowing it.
Also do not use alcohol to numb the mouth.
Do not use anything that hasn’t been approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for soothing teething.
This includes the teethers and teething rings that presumably soothe babies but can have more adverse effects.
Teethers are of three kinds:
- A hard substance that is meant to be chewed but can harm the baby’s mouth
- A substance full of liquid and if it tears the liquid can spill into the mouth of babies
- Breakable material like plastic which your child can swallow causing choking
Teething necklaces are also popular but they too pose the risk of breaking and can end up in the baby’s mouth leading to choking.
Though even if you choose to make them wear it then tie it around their wrists and constantly monitor them.
Then how do you relieve your child of this pain?
You can give them pain relievers for children for example acetaminophen.
However, be careful to not give your child aspirin or ibuprofen.
Children younger than 6 months should not take ibuprofen.
However, remember to not give them any medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not overmedicate them rather use these medicines occasionally by getting a doctor’s prescription.
This is a rough phase for your child and yourself.
You may break down over their continuous crying.
Though, remember that it is temporary and soon they will be back to being a lively child.
Caring For Your Child’s First Tooth
Oral care begins before your child’s first tooth appears.
Rub your wet clean finger on their gums to prevent any accumulation of sugars from milk there.
As soon as their first tooth erupts, clean it using gauze or a wet washcloth.
You can also buy a baby toothbrush to clean the tooth.
As more teeth appear then you can properly brush their teeth and even floss them if they meet together.
However, do not use fluoride toothpaste just yet.
Excess of fluoride can lead to fluorosis which permanently stains the teeth.
Hence, if your water is already fluoridated, it is better to avoid fluoride toothpaste for now.
Moreover, make sure that they never take their feeder with them while sleeping.
Take their bottles away before they start to fall asleep.
This can lead to a cavity and having a cavity at this stage in baby teeth can affect the proper eruption of permanent teeth.
Your baby drinks breast milk or formula milk which contains sugars and can cause cavities in the newly erupted teeth.
Hence, make sure that you regularly clean them with a soft brush or washcloth even if they come one by one.
Start brushing teeth by the time your child is one with non-fluoride toothpaste.
The other important thing is to visit a dentist. More on this below!
Visiting a Dentist for Your Baby’s Teeth
You should book your first appointment with the dentist by the time it has already been 6 months since their first tooth erupted.
Since most children get their first tooth at 6 months of age, their first dental visit should align with their first birthday.
If you think it is too soon for your child to get a dental checkup then you should at least visit once till they are 3 years old.
Your child’s teeth are the most vulnerable during their first three years of life.
Hence, it is crucial to visit a dentist timely.
The food they consume and their habits, such as thumb sucking, can affect their oral hygiene and dental care.
As a result, it can affect the structure of their baby as well as adult teeth.
Baby teeth hold space for adult teeth and if they are not healthy, the adult ones will not erupt in proper shape either.
Therefore, it is important to take your child to a friendly dentist for their first dental visit soon.
Let them analyze the growth of their teeth, jaw and mouth and also give treatments for teething pain.
Teething symptoms will show on and off when a new tooth is about to erupt.
The pain and discomfort aren’t the same for every child.
Hence, if your child seems to be having severe pain with other conditions such as a fever, it is time to take them to the doctor for a checkup.