Touching On Teeth

Teething can be a confusing time for parents as it's often difficult to know if baby is irritable from teething or something else. We look at gentle remedies to ease the symptoms and help baby stay comfortable through the teething period.
Teething can be a confusing time for parents as it's often difficult to know if baby is irritable from teething or something else. We look at gentle remedies to ease the symptoms and help baby stay comfortable through the teething period. Baby teeth usually start appearing between four and seven months and continue coming through until the age of three. The bottom middle incisors appear first. Most Infant teeth will fall out in the same order they appeared in so you can expect the bottom front incisors to fall out first, followed by the top front teeth. WATCH OUT FOR SIGNS Early signs of teething include red cheeks, excessive dribbling and drooling; babies will put their hands in their mouths and chew on anything they can to get relief from the pressure of the tooth coming through. While some babies don't seem bothered by this, others become restless, have disrupted sleeping patterns, trouble feeding or be unwilling to feed and they can develop a low grade fever. Some parents observe high fever, diarrhea and nappy rash during teething but it is difficult to know whether these are related or possibly caused by a bacterial infection and may require confirmation from a GP. did you know? Before toothpaste was invented (only about 100 years ago) humans used various cleaning agents like charcoal or ground up chalk; ashes or lemon juice and honey-tobacco made into a mixture to clean their teeth. MAKE IT BETTER There are several natural remedies easily prepared to soothe swollen and irritated gums. Let baby chew a wet wash cloth that's been cooled in the fridge or give them a cold (but not frozen) teething ring for relief. For babies older than six months, cold fruit and vegetables cut into large pieces like carrots and apples are a great way to introduce solids while also soothing the gums. Amber teething necklaces are a very popular teething remedy. Amber is well known to have anti-inflammatory, calming and digestive properties. Placing pressure on the gums can also be effective and by letting baby chew an infant toothbrush, or gently rubbing it along their gums for them offers a counter-pressure to the tooth coming through. EARLY DENTAL CARE Once the teeth come through the gum the pain and discomfort should ease, but it is important to take care of the milk teeth by brushing often and moderating foods and drinks (avoid those with lots of sugar or acidity) that will damage them. Refrain from using regular toothpastes as babies will swallow what goes into their mouth. The use of xylitol is said to have beneficial effects on milk teeth, as it blocks the colonisation of harmful bacteria in the mouth and acts as a carrier for calcium to the new teeth, making the enamel more resistant to acidic foods and drinks. Specially formulated toothpastes and gels containing xylitol are available for infants and young children, encouraging healthy dental habits that kids also find fun. 6 TIPS TO SOOTHE TEETHING PAIN
  • Clove oil diluted with olive oil and rubbed on sore gums has a natural numbing and antiseptic effect. Remember to test on yourself first before rubbing on baby's gums.
  • A wet, refrigerated wash cloth can offer relief when chewed on.
  • Large, cold, raw fruit and vegetable chunks (babies over six months) also helps.
  • Give them an infant toothbrush, when they chew on it, it will apply pressure on the gum giving them some relief.
  • Make sure they have plenty to drink.
  • Place an amber teething necklace around their necks (amber beads are not meant to be chewed).
For more information on Lauren Dean, log on to www.gentlyborn.co.za or www.babycalming.com

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