Teething….ugh just hearing that word hurts. It hurts our hearts to see those little guys teething and it hurts our ears. For the most part, babies get their first tooth at around 6 months, but it isn’t uncommon for your child’s first tooth to appear as early as 3 months. On the other end of the spectrum, they may not appear until as late as 14 months. Either way, it’s not a pretty site when they make their appearance. I know how it feels as an adult with a tooth ache, and these little guys have it ten fold and are helpless to do anything about except cry. Actually, it’s rare, but there have been babies that show no signs of discomfort at all while teething. Maybe your baby will be one of those lucky few. If they aren’t, here are when you should be watching out for those teeth to start breaking through.
- 6 months: lower central incisors
- 8 months: upper central incisors
- 10 months: lower and upper lateral incisors
- 14 months: first molars
- 18 months: canines
- 24 months: second molars
Signs of teething really do vary, but aside from seeing them start to poke through, keep a look out for the most obvious – the need to gnaw. Gosh just thinking about it is making me want to gnaw on something. The pressure of the teeth coming in can be temporarily relieved by chomping on something. The counter pressure seems to help. Also look out for puffy gums, extra fussiness, and more drooling than normal if you can believe that. Oddly enough, ear pulling can be a sign of teething. It may be more common for an ear infection, but it can be a symptom to watch out for when teething is starting. The pain from the jaw gets transferred to the ear canal.
There are ways to sooth the pain, but unfortunately non of them will completely get rid of it. Teething is one of those things everyone must go through. Ways you can help sooth the pain can be a wet frozen wash cloth – but be sure to leave a dry end so they can get a grip. The thick fabric of the washcloth feels good on their gums. Massaging or rubbing the gum area can help too. You may also try distracting them with a new toy, or song.
Things not to try are ;
- Hard foods like zwieback crackers, toasted or frozen bagels, carrots and frozen bananas. They may appeal to a baby’s intense urge to chew, but when gnawed on long enough they can come apart in choke-hazardous chunks.
- Rubbing a little brandy on swollen gums. Even tiny amounts of alcohol can be poisonous to a baby.
When is it time to call the Doctor? signs of teething may actually be signs of illness, call if symptoms worsen (for instance, a low-grade fever reaches 101° F or higher) or if they hang around for more than a couple of days. Same goes if no teeth have come in by 15 months, in which case your pediatrician may want you to take your child to a dentist for an x ray.
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