Dr Gunita Singh is BDS and MD, Dental lasers, Director, Dentem & Associate Consultant at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital
Child birth and parenting comes with lots of challenges and every day is an experience in itself, one of such experiences is teething. It is the process by which a baby’s teeth erupt through the gums.
Teething generally occurs between six and 24 months of age and is generally associated with irritability tender and swollen gums, infant wanting to place object or fingers into the mouth in an attempt to reduce discomfort. Fever, cough, diarrhea and cold symptoms are not found when a child is teething.
The onset of teething symptoms typically precedes the eruption of a tooth by can appear between four and 10 months of age, the first tooth usually erupts at approximately six months of age. Some dentists have noted a family pattern of early average or late teethers.
Teething is generally associated with gum and jaw discomfort as the infant’s tooth prepares to erupt through the surface of the gum tissue. The area may appear slightly red or swollen Sometimes a fluid-filled area similar to blood a blister may be seen over the erupting tooth. Some teeth may be more sensitive than others when they erupt. Some teeth cause less discomfort while erupting like the incisors and some like wisdom teeth can be very very painful.
Teething may cause the following symptoms:
- Increased drooling.
- Restless or decreased sleeping due to gum discomfort.
- Refusal of food due to the soreness of the gum region.
- Fussiness that comes and goes.
- Bringing hands to the mouth.
- Mild rash around the mouth due to skin irritation secondary to excessive drooling.
- Rubbing the check or ear region as a consequence of referred pain during the eruption of the molars.
Well, whatever is said and done, it is one of the most beautiful milestones for your baby. Once you see those tiny little pearls you want to capture in your memories forever, but how to deal with the discomfort your child is going through is a major concern of a parent.
Give your baby maximum of yourself at this time. Baby needs you the most nothing can soothe a baby more than a mother's touch and proximity.
Rub the gums of the child with your finger twice or thrice a day, you can use natural oils like olive oil/Vitamin E oil to do this. Make sure your hands are absolutely clean.
One can use soothing toys too. Give your child soothing rings to chew on, this is a very good option to help them ease the gum pain. Keep those toys in the fridge for some time before use, the cooling effect can do wonders. Again, make sure they are completely sterilised.
Frozen apple/pear/carrot or any crispy fruits and vegetables your child likes, can be the best option to soothe the gum ache healthily and is the natural way of dealing with teething.
Give your child a nice foot massage. Foot reflexology soothes the body and gives a calming effect to the entire body, teeth, and gum as well.
Last but not the least, connect with the dentist for teething drops or gels to give extra support to the child.