There is no denying that newborns are the cutest things in the world. This is your opportunity to raise a life! While you’re probably proud as punch (and have every right to be), teething usually involves a lot of tending to a crying baby. This means a lot of sleepless nights. Here are several facts you need to know to help your baby’s teething process as painless for everybody involved.
Babies rightfully have a lot to be fussy, whiny (and upset) about. Do not blame your baby’s crankiness during the teething process. It is important to practice relaxation and meditation techniques to learn a better understanding. From ceaselessly crying (for no apparent reason) to being short-tempered, babies will test your patience. These are good times to practice rocking, shushing or other baby-calming techniques.
2. Soothe Pain
In most cases, teething is more uncomfortable than painful. Teething pains happen. While there is, unfortunately, nothing you can do about this, there are some steps you can take to make the pain less severe for your loved one, especially in the event of crowded teeth. You can ease the transition by gently massaging their gums (with clean fingers) or offering teething rings. You can expect a bit more drooling than usual during this time.
After 2-3 months, your baby will drool a lot more and start to gnaw on things. These could be fingers—yours or otherwise—and anything he/she gets in their hands. However, this is more curiosity than actually teething. You will know when teething happens the moment you start to feel tiny little bumps on their gums during the first few days or so of the teeth actually coming in. This is the moment when pain “attacks”. Contrary to popular belief, teething does not cause high fevers, diarrhea or other symptoms in your baby.
4. No Gels
Under no circumstances should you ever use teething tablets or gels of any sort. This includes benzocaine, homeopathic teething gels or amber teething necklaces. Avoiding necklaces should go without saying, as there’s a severe possibility of it wrapping around your baby’s neck and strangling it. Aside from this, there is little scientific evidence that teething necklaces are effective. Although these products do indeed numb your child’s pain, the FDA listed potentially harmful side effects as probable cause for staying away from them.
When your baby is around 6 months old, its’ teeth will emerge. Decay can occur immediately, especially if you don’t “tackle” the problem as soon as the teeth begin to come in. This is the time that it is most crucial for you to take a dab of fluoride toothpaste – the size of a rice grain – and brush those baby teeth. These primary teeth will continue to grow for the next few years; they are temporary, however. During that time, it is important to establish the all-crucial brushing routine. New, permanent teeth will replace this tooth around six years of age.
It is highly recommended that, within 6 months’ time of your child’s first tooth, that it sees your dentist. If, however, the first tooth eruption doesn’t occur by age 1—which may be the case—it is still recommended. This is because dentists are experts when it comes to nurturing healthy teeth and will help you and your baby with brushing techniques. It will also provide you invaluable experience for education concerning oral care. Dentists can also assist you with any questions concerning pacifier sucking or teething that you may have.