Teeth develop whilst your baby is in the womb, with tooth buds forming in the gums. Over a period of months – from about 5 months onwards – the teeth will start coming through the gums, usually starting with the bottom front two. They will all appear over the next 2.5 – 3 years with your toddler having a full set of 20 milk teeth by the time they are about 3 years.
Teething causes some discomfort for many babies. Some signs to watch out for if you think your child maybe teething:
- increased drooling – it is thought this has something to do with soothing the inflamed gums
- gums and cheeks seem a little red and inflamed
- your child maybe extra clingy or seem more irritable than usual – this is due to the discomfort of the teeth cutting through the gums
- things seem to be going in the mouth more than usual – chewing helps relieve the pressure in the gums
Any sickness, fever or diarrhoea is not associated with teething. This could be a sign your child has picked up a bug or virus, so a trip to the doctor or pharmacy is a good idea.
A few ideas to ease the discomfort of teething:
- give your baby something to chew on – something cold is even better! A teething ring that’s been in the fridge or, if they are eating solids, some cold food
- if the gums are red and inflamed, use a small amount of teething gel directly on the gumssuch as Bonjela
- follow the directions on the packets so you don’t overuse, and be careful not to use before feeding as it can affect their sucking ability
- there are also homeopathic teething powders available which seem to provide relief with some babies such as Weleda teething powder
- for babies older than 3 months who are suffering a lot of pain, baby and infant paracetamol or ibuprofen can be of benefit. Always follow the instructions on the packaging
Discuss the best options with us at the Natural Chemist T: 1300 882303