Your Infant is Teething: Know the Signs and Symptoms

September 20th, 2023 | [rt_reading_time label="" postfix="min read" postfix_singular="minute"]

What is Teething?

The process of teeth emerging from the gums is known as teething. The medical word for teething is Odontiasis, and another name for it is “cutting” of the teeth. It is a normal and important phase of a baby’s development.

When does teething begin in infants?

Though the average age range for the emergence of the first tooth is 3 to 14 months, the first tooth often erupts around the age of 6 months. Some infants develop their first teeth a bit earlier than others. While some kids have teeth that emerge in pairs or sets, others have teeth that develop one at a time. Generally, the two mid-tooth lower teeth are the first to penetrate the gums before the middle-tooth upper teeth. Usually, all 20 baby teeth are present by the time a kid is 30 months old. For each tooth, the teething process may take up to eight days, including the four days prior to and the three days after the tooth’s emergence from the gum.

Baby’s Teething Timeline

All of a baby’s teeth are there at birth, hidden under the gums. These teeth erupt from the gums gradually.

  • 3-6 Months – The infant may be found drooling and displaying indications of discomfort during this time. That does not necessarily indicate that a tooth is about to erupt. It can also imply that the infant is already exhibiting early indications of teething and gum irritation.  
  • 6-12 Months – The first tooth usually appears around this period. One of the bottom front teeth will erupt first, followed by the four front upper teeth. 
  • 12 Months – The molars will now start to emerge at this period. Parents may see their child exhibiting the same signs as they did between the ages of 3 and 6 months, such as excessive drooling and irritability because molars can also be quite uncomfortable. 
  • 12-36 Months – Since children have two sets of molars, once the first set comes in around age 1, it’s time for the second set to start coming in as they get closer to age 2. The majority of teeth should have come in by the age of 3. 

Remember, the average age is 2-3 years, but it is not the standard. Some kids may obtain their entire set of teeth after turning two, while others may experience delayed teething.  

What symptoms and signs are usual with teething?

Teething symptoms usually appear several days before the emergence of a tooth. Every infant goes through teething in a distinct way. While some people seldom ever experience any symptoms, others endure months of pain and fussiness related to teething. The following are a few of the initial teething symptoms:

  • Sleep Disruption – The pain associated with teething may cause the infant to be awake at night. Therefore, teething may be the reason why a baby is suddenly finding it difficult to calm down and slumber.
  • Drooling – A baby that is teething could drool a lot. This happens as a result of the extra saliva soothing the gums’ sensitive tissues. The excessive moisture may even cause them to break out in a rash on their chin and cheeks. Gently dry the baby’s chin and change damp clothing as needed during the day to keep them comfortable.
  • Irritability – The infant may start to fuss a bit more and possibly cry more frequently than normal. If a baby appears irritable, it is possible that a tooth, despite being in good health, is forcing its way through.
  • Low-Grade Temperature – The infant may also have a minor fever. However, if the baby appears to be in great discomfort or has a temperature of 100.4°F or above, immediate medical help is required.
  • Chewing & Biting – Babies experience a lot of pain as their teeth push through their gums, which can be eased by using counter-pressure, such as chewing and biting. The baby’s gums are massaged, and pressure on them is reduced while they chew, which also helps to ease any pain brought on by the emerging tooth.
  • Loss of Appetite – Babies that are unhappy need to be comforted by having something in their mouths. However, breastfeeding may irritate a teething baby’s painful gums more. Because of this, babies who are teething may be finicky about feedings and become more irritable when neither their discomfort nor their tummies get relief. 
  • Crying & Whining – Some infants experience teething without problems. Others have considerable discomfort as a result of the inflammation of their gums, which they feel obligated to express by weeping or whimpering. 
  • Pulling or Rubbing at their Ear – It is possible for a baby’s gum soreness to spread to their cheeks and ears. In an effort to relieve the pain, the baby may massage their face or pull on their ear. Contact a doctor if the child’s pain worsens or if the child also has a high temperature.

How should babies be taken care of during their teething phase?

Teething can be a distressing experience for most babies; however, there are a variety of natural remedies that can be used to alleviate the discomfort and soothe the gums.  

  • Teething Toys – Baby could quench his or her cravings to chew on these soft, chewy toys. They can be toys or teething rings made of rubber, among other things. These teething toys might be the ideal pain reliever with effective pain diversion.
  • Massage – Babies who are in the teething phase find it calming to have their gums softly stroked. Therefore, soothingly rubbing a baby’s gums with a clean finger might help them feel better.
  • Cold food, toys, or drinks – Teething pain in a baby can be reduced by applying ice to the swollen and painful gums. When a toy is cold, it numbs the gums; hence, chewing it is even more effective. Foods that have been chilled may taste better than the foods that have been left out at room temperature.

Which medications are suitable for treating teething pain?

The pain of teething may not be relieved by applying medicine to a baby’s gums. It disappears fast in the mouth, and it could numb the back of their throats, making it challenging for them to swallow. Avoid benzocaine-containing teething gels and liquids sold over the counter. It may result in uncommon but severe adverse effects. Prior to administering any medication to the infant, consult a doctor. Use it precisely as the doctor instructs.

Conclusion

Both parents and newborns may find teething to be a difficult period requiring effective ways to let this time pass with ease. It can be made comfortable for the infant, though, by being aware of what to anticipate and how to provide the relief. 

If you need assistance or direction, speak with the highly qualified and experienced paediatricians at Giggles Hospitals.