What Are the Symptoms of Teething in a Baby?
When a baby starts teething, he or she may have different symptoms. We'll tell you which ones are the most common and how to treat them.
Sometimes, when kids start teething, it’s hard for parents to tell if the symptoms are due to teething or if something else is wrong with the baby. So, in this article, we’ll be telling you what the main symptoms of teething are and how to help your child cope better.
When does teething start?
The appearance of baby teeth is a period known as teething. Although every child is different, this stage usually begins around 6 months of age. It may be a little earlier or later; this is perfectly normal. However, it would be advisable to go to the dentist if, after reaching one year of age, no teeth have appeared.
Thus, the process takes place slowly. The first teeth to appear are the lower central incisors, followed by the upper central incisors. Afterwards, the lateral incisors appear. Finally, the eyeteeth and molars come out.
As we’ve mentioned, dentition is a slow process, and it won’t be until approximately two years of age when all the baby teeth are in place.
The symptoms of teething
As the teeth start to come through, this can cause pain and irritation in the gums. Because of the age at which it occurs, the baby isn’t yet able to express what’s happening to them. Most often they’re irritable, crying, unwilling to eat, and often wake up at night crying.
In addition to these non-specific symptoms, there are some others that give us more clues that teething is taking place. Two of the clearest symptoms that the baby is starting to teethe are:
- The baby bites everything, including their hands. They do this because the pressure on their gums calms the pain for a few moments.
- Excess saliva. The child begins to produce more saliva when teething starts.
When this happens, parents can explore the baby’s mouth. They’ll be able to see the red, swollen gums and small hard white spots on them that will confirm the imminent arrival of baby teeth.
On the other hand, symptoms such as fever, vomiting or diarrhea shouldn’t be attributed to teething. In cases where this type of symptom appears, the pediatrician should be consulted.
How can pain due to teething be relieved?
There are several measures that can be applied to try to reduce the baby’s pain, irritation, and discomfort. Some of them are:
- As the child will want to bite on everything, you can give them teethers that are safe for them. If we also cool the teethers in the refrigerator for a while before giving it to them, then the cold will further ease the pain.
- The pacifier can also be cooled in the refrigerator and this will give a soothing effect, as can their bottle. Cold food will be more appealing to them for the same reason.
- With a clean finger, try massaging your baby’s gums. As we’ve already mentioned, this slight pressure will give them relief.
- In cases when the children are very affected or obviously in a great deal of pain, then you can give them the pain reliever that you normally use, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen.
Teething is a stage that all children must go through. It can occur earlier or later, depending on the child. The intensity of the symptoms also varies from baby to baby.
It’s important to be aware of other symptoms that aren’t typical of teething. Once you’re sure that it’s teething that your child is going through, then you just need to be calm and try to relieve their discomfort as much as possible.