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Teething is an essential developmental milestone in a child’s life, but it can be frustrating for the little one as well as his parents! During the teething phase, a baby or toddler may have disturbed sleep, he may wake up frequently at night, drool, and may have a mild temperature too. As a parent, you will be overjoyed to see your child teething and achieving big and small milestones, but you will also wonder how you can put your child out of misery. Let us help you soothe your baby! Read on to know about teething in toddlers, and what can be done to ease teething pain.
Video : Teething in Toddler – Symptoms & Remedies
What is Teething and is it Normal in Toddlers?
Most babies usually start teething when they are about 6 months of age but some may begin teething at about 1 year of age. In toddlerhood, children mostly have some teeth. In toddlers, it is usually the molars that are awaited. When little gets new teeth, it’s quite painful for them since the teeth push their way to emerge out of the soft tender skin of the gums. Many children tend to be quite irritated and fussy throughout this process, leading some parents to believe that their child could be suffering from some other problems. But these are generally normal signs of teething and the discomfort does fade away in some time.
Common Toddler Teething Symptoms and Remedies
When your child starts teething, it will get quite apparent since it is usually accompanied by numerous symptoms and quite some pain. Opting for some toddler teething pain remedies can help make that entire process easier for your child to handle, and prevent any complications from occurring.
The sensation of pain in the gums and the mouth can get quite irritating, leading them to be cranky and fussy about every single thing involving them. Taking care of such a child for extended durations can take quite a toll on you as well, leaving you exhausted and tired while your child refuses to calm down.
The only way to counter crankiness is with tons of love and care. Spend a great deal of time with your child. Whenever your child cries due to teething pain, try and distract him with a game of his choice or by telling him a story. Being patient with him and yourself is the key to getting both of you through this phase.
2. Waking Up at Night
If a child experiences sharp pain while he is asleep, it might disrupt his sleep. This can occur at night when the child is asleep peacefully and wakes up by a sharp ache in the mouth. What follows next is incessant crying, irritation, and failure to fall asleep again.
Some babies don’t require immediate attention right away. They might cry for a few minutes and go back to sleep again. In case that doesn’t happen, then your intervention is necessary. Hum his favourite song or gently pat him till he falls asleep again.
3. Loss of Appetite
The constant ache in the mouth can be frustrating for a child and he may refuse to feed or consume any solids. It might affect his appetite for a few days. He might not suckle on your breast for long, or even turn his mouth away from it. Using a bottle, a straw, or his favourite sipper might not be of use as well, since the very act of sucking could trigger the pain all over again.
A change in temperature can get your child intrigued as well as provide some much-needed relief to the aching gums as well. Cooled breast milk or any soft food items are your best bet in this regard. If your child has started with solids, then you can give him some frozen yoghurt, mashed bananas, or other frozen fruit items. Also, try to give liquid food and soft food which might not require him to chew.
4. Rubbing the Cheeks Constantly
The ache in the gums can result in the sensations being transferred to the cheeks as well. They could itch internally or simply feel weird, causing your child to pull on them or rub them as if he’s trying to brush something away.
Giving some teething biscuits to your child might be beneficial in this regard. Stay away from using any kind of gels or creams to be applied on the gums or cheeks to help soothe the pain. They are not safe for babies and could result in fatal results.
The pain in the gums could cause weird sensations in the ear or even result in an earache, which might make your baby pull at his earlobes constantly.
Keep your child’s hands occupied by giving him a toy or using chilled chewing rings/pacifiers that can relieve some pain of the gums. If the pain is severe, then using paracetamol or ibuprofen, after the doctor’s recommendation, could help as well. Do get his ears checked as it could be due to an ear infection as well.
6. Chewing on Anything and Everything in Sight
The teeth apply tremendous pressure on the skin of the gums as they emerge from the roots within an attempt to break out. This pressure is what babies attempt to get relief from, by applying counter pressure and chewing on anything they can lay their hands on.
Chewing rings are your best bet, so are cold ice cubes or a sip of cold water. Make sure he doesn’t chew on sharp objects since those could harm the gums and cause hematomas or cysts within.
7. Irritation on the Skin of the Cheeks
Most of the times, teething is accompanied by excessive drooling which can keep the area around the mouth and the chin wet and moist for long durations. This can result in a rash or an irritation of the area due to constant wiping.
Use gentle wipes or a soft cloth and pat the skin dry instead of rubbing it. Make use of a baby-friendly ointment to treat a rash if it gets severe.
How Long Does the Teething Phase Last?
Once you know what to give a toddler for teething pain, you might wonder how long will this phase last. Generally, the front teeth (both the top and bottom ones) emerge by 1.5-2 years, followed by other teeth, gradually until a couple of years. The order might vary from child to child but the pain subsides after the first few teeth.
When to Consult a Doctor
The complications of teething in toddlers usually occur when the teeth fail to erupt properly, requiring the doctor to get a better idea of the situation.
- Some children suffer from a condition called hypodontia where the primary teeth in a child are completely missing. In rare cases, a baby might not have teeth at all, termed as anodontia.
- While the teething phase is in progress, your child might tend to prefer sleeping with a bottle in the mouth or even your nipple. This causes the milk to be in contact with the new teeth for an extended duration, resulting in the formation of dental cavities and decayed teeth at an early age.
- Delayed teeth eruption can be a sign of some systemic abnormality like Hypothyroidism, Vitamin D deficiency, calcium deficiency which if diagnosed and treated early is good for baby’s development.
The process of teething is a sign that a child is developing just fine. The pain that accompanies it can be taken care of in numerous ways, along with ensuring that the natural process of teething isn’t hindered in any way. If toddler teething fever does tend to occur, it is best to contact your doctor and get his recommendation for medication if necessary.
Also Read: Baby Teeth Order Appearance