Teething is the process of eruption of milk teeth in infants. The first teeth to appear are mandibular central incisors at an age of 6-7 months of age. Though it doesn’t lead to any of the serious chronic problems but looking at the age of the child, teething can be very troublesome.
The first signs of teething are seen in 6 months i.e. the time of eruption of first tooth. During the time of teething, your child can be susceptible to various nervous and digestive disorders.
Signs and Symptoms of Teething
Pain and discomfort: This is first and the foremost sign of teething. Your baby may experience pain and at times be irritable. As the tooth is exerting an outward pressure, so there may be inflammation of gums which is generally accompanied by bleeding.
Elevated gums: At the site of teething, the gums will be slightly elevated and red.
Fever: Though it is not common but sometimes your child can experience a low grade fever. If s/he gets it then it is advised to visit a physician to look for the exact cause of fever as teething is not always associated with fever.
Frequent biting on props: You might have noticed that at the age of six or seven months, child starts to put every object they come across into their mouth. They keep on biting to all the objects. This is a sign that s/he is getting the milk teeth out.
Insomnia: Your child might find it difficult to sleep of might get up from the bed during the odd hours of the night. S/he also might become irritable.
Decreased diet intake: Due to difficulty while consuming food, the diet of your child might decrease considerably thereby causing weakness and lethargy. Anything they eat would hurt their delicate gums.
Ear and gums rubbing: This activity increases a lot at the times of teething. The reason behind this is irritation to the gums and rubbing them provides a bit of relief.
Inflamed tonsils: Apart from this, your child can have tender and inflamed tonsils plus his/her will become red.
Treatment of Problems associated with Teething
The problems related to teething will automatically and gradually subside after the eruption of teeth. The timely eruption of teeth depends upon how hard the erupting teeth are and how thick are the gums that they have to pierce.
If the teeth are not so strong or the gums are too thick then the teething symptoms will be prolonged and will take some time to subside.
Gum massage and milk consumption: Gently massaging the gums will make the gums thin thereby accelerating teething process. Warm honey, almond or olive or butter oil can be used for massaging. And encourage the mothers give their breast milk to the child. This will increase the strength of their erupting teeth and the time period of tooth eruption will be decreased.
Encourage intake of hard things: Encourage your child to take hard eatables like sugarcane, carrot, plastic blocks and rubber props to chew. This will avoid mouth infection caused by putting unhygienic things into mouth.
Give normal regular diet: Regarding dietary modifications, they should be avoided. Give your child the normal diet as any change in the diet can irritate the digestive system. Also mild diarrhea is beneficial during teething but excess of it should be reported to the pediatrician.
Props used during Teething
During teething it is commonly seen that infants develop a habit of putting everything into their mouth. This is done to relieve the pain and itching of the gums. Looking at this, pedodontists recommend using of certain props that are specially designed for the infants with teething problems. Few of the props include:
Teething Biscuits: Teething biscuits should be used under parental guidance only as they can lead to choking hazards. They should only be allowed when child is sitting in an upright position.
Frozen carrots and bananas: Frozen Carrots and bananas when chewed upon causes only small amount of extracts to come out thereby maintaining the health as well as reducing the teething symptoms.
Washcloth: A cold and wet wash cloth is another good option to get your child relieved of teething problems.
Dried Fruit: Chewing on dried fruit serves two purposes. One is it gives nutrition to the child and second it alleviates pain and irritation related to teething.
NOTE: Since teething is a natural process so it is advised not to take unapproved medicines like belladonna, coffee, clove oil, tea tree oil etc. Symptoms will gradually subside after the eruption of teeth. If you child faces severe fever, diarrhea then it is recommended to visit a pediatrician.