Teething can be a nightmare for both children and parents, but it’s inevitable and thankfully, there are some ways to make the process a little less stressful and painful.
Teething is the process of the teeth erupting, it usually begins around the age of 6 months, but every child is different. Some children are born with teeth already, while others don’t get their first teeth until after they’ve celebrated their first birthday. The front teeth (the incisors) are the first to erupt, followed by the canine teeth and finally the molars and second molars. Most children have all their teeth by the time they reach the age of 2 and a half years old.
Teething affects children in different ways, some just become a little clingy and emotional, while others become really quite poorly with skin rashes and a high temperature. Teething can be distressing for parents and children, but there are ways of dealing with teething.
Signs of teething
Teething affects children in a different way, but the most common symptoms include:
- Dribbling and drooling
- Flushed skin and rosy cheeks
- Tender, sore gums
- Irritability and restlessness
- Being more clingy than usual
- Disturbed sleep
- Loss of appetite
Dealing with teething
One of the most effective ways to deal with the pain of teething is to try and ease and soothe the gums, buying teething toys and giving your child cold drinks and foods to suck on will help to soothe pain and reduce swelling. Many children like to bite down and chew on things when they are teething, so teething rings can be very helpful.
Teething gel can be beneficial for some children, you simply rub the gel straight onto your child’s gums and it helps to ease pain and tenderness.
If your child has a high temperature, you can give them pain relief medication, but always check with your doctor or pharmacist, as some medicines are not suitable for young children. Always follow the dosage instructions, which will be included in the advice leaflet or printed on the bottle.
It can also help children to stimulate their gums, you can do this by gently rubbing them using your finger or a very soft-bristled brush.
Many children experience changes in their behaviour when they are teething, they become more irritable and want more attention than usual, so make sure you are on hand to provide plenty of cuddles and to help reassure your child.
Teething is part and parcel of growing up but it can be a troublesome time, there is no knowing how long teething will affect a child for and no way of telling how your baby will react to teething, but it’s best to be prepared, so stock up on teething toys, medicine and teething gel to help soothe and calm your baby. If you have any questions or concerns about teething, your doctor, dentist, midwife or pharmacist will be able to recommend products and treatments to help.