Teething Woes and Dental Care for Infants

Teething Woes and Dental Care for Infants

How cute babies look when they sprout their first teeth. But teething is a long and a painful process for the baby as well as for the parents. Teething usually starts when babies are about 6 months old, though it may start a bit earlier or later for some.

Some sure shot signs of teething are red swollen gums, heavy drooling, biting, sucking, unsettled and irritable behaviour. Most babies have sleepless nights and are cranky throughout the day. So, follow these tips to ease their discomfort (and yours).

Massage the baby’s sore gums with your clean finger every 20 minutes to relieve the pressure and ease the pain. This will numb the pain temporarily Try this before putting the baby to sleep in the night.

Teething rings specially the solid silicon based ones did wonders for us. They are easy to sterilise as well as provide comfort to the baby. Try putting the teething ring in the fridge for a while before giving it to your baby. But avoid putting it in the freezer as it may hurt the baby’s gums.

Teething gels are also available in the stores. They usually contain a local anaesthetic that eases pain as well as prevents any infection. A small amount can be rubbed on the sore gum with a clean finger. Gels tend to wipe off fast due to the constant drooling and the excessive saliva generation. So clean your baby’s gums regularly.

Babies might even stop feeding when their swollen gums cause too much pain. If they are bottle feeding, they might try and bite more than fill their tummy. So do not force feed. Try feeding when they are less cranky and irritable. Just remember, they do not know how to handle pain, so make them feel comfy whenever you can.

At times, these home remedies do not work and some doctors prescribe infant paracetamol that help in easing pain as well as ensuring that babies sleep tight at night. But be sure to check the dosage information as it is not to be used as often as other home remedies.

I have also heard that teething causes cheeks to get rosy as the baby’s temperature rises. So just make sure the baby is comfortable, in loose fitting clothes with the apt temperature while sleeping.  Do not cover or wrap the baby too tightly and use the light blanket to cover the child.

Most of the time babies have fever or ear infections that are mistaken for teething. So before giving any medication; see the doctor and check what exactly the problem is.

Teething process is a long painful one like I mentioned earlier. It starts from 6 months and carries on till they are 2 years old or even more.  So needless to say, be patient. The first ones that sprout up are probably the worst and it gets easy with the rest of them.

Good dental care starts with this stage of teething, and hence needs to continue as they grow up!


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