If you’re a parent, you’ve likely experienced the challenging phase of teething with your little one. Teething is a natural process that marks the eruption of a baby’s first set of teeth. While it’s an exciting milestone, it can also be accompanied by discomfort and pain for both the baby and parents. In this article, we will explore why teething hurts for babies, how it affects them, and provide some tips on managing the teething process. So, let’s dive in Pediatric Dentistry Farmington Hills.
Teething is the process in which an infant’s teeth emerge through the gums. It typically begins around six months of age, although it can vary from one baby to another. The first teeth to erupt are usually the lower front teeth, followed by the upper front teeth. As the teething process continues, more teeth gradually appear, until the full set of primary teeth (baby teeth) is complete.
Why Does Teething Hurt?
Teething can be a painful experience for babies due to several reasons:
- Gum Inflammation: When a tooth begins to push through the gums, it causes inflammation and swelling in the surrounding tissues. This inflammation can lead to discomfort and pain.
- Pressure and Discomfort: The pressure exerted by the erupting tooth against the gums can cause aching and soreness. Babies may express their discomfort by becoming irritable, fussy, or having trouble sleeping.
- Nerve Sensitivity: The nerves in the gums become more sensitive during the teething process. This heightened sensitivity can amplify the pain felt by the baby.
- Gum Rupture: In some cases, the gums may rupture or tear slightly as the tooth emerges. This can cause additional discomfort and pain.
- Secondary Symptoms: Teething can also lead to secondary symptoms like drooling, facial rash, gum rubbing, loss of appetite, and mild fever. These symptoms are a result of the baby’s natural response to the teething process.
Managing Teething Discomfort
As a parent, there are several ways you can help alleviate your baby’s teething discomfort:
- Gentle Gum Massage: Gently massaging your baby’s gums with a clean finger can help reduce inflammation and provide temporary relief. Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before doing this.
- Teething Rings: Chilled teething rings or toys made of safe materials can help soothe your baby’s gums. The coolness of the ring can provide numbing relief to the sore gums. Avoid freezing teething rings as they can become too hard and cause injury.
- Cold Compresses: Applying a cold, damp washcloth or a clean spoon to your baby’s gums can help alleviate pain. The cold sensation helps numb the area, providing temporary relief.
- Teething Biscuits: Once your baby starts eating solid foods, you can offer them teething biscuits. These specially designed biscuits are hard enough to provide counter-pressure to the gums and relieve discomfort.
- Over-the-Counter Remedies: There are various over-the-counter remedies available, such as teething gels or medications, specifically formulated for babies. However, it’s essential to consult your pediatrician or dentist before using any of these products to ensure their safety and effectiveness.
- Distraction: Engaging your baby in playful activities or providing them with toys can help divert their attention from the teething pain. The distraction can help reduce their discomfort and keep them entertained.
When to Consult a Pediatric Dentist Farmington Hills
While teething discomfort is a normal part of your baby’s development, there are situations where it’s advisable to seek professional help from a Pediatric Dentist Farmington Hills:
- High Fever: If your baby’s temperature rises above 100.4°F (38°C), it may indicate an unrelated illness. Consult your pediatrician for appropriate medical advice.
- Excessive Irritability: If your baby seems unusually irritable or inconsolable, it’s a good idea to have them examined by a pediatric dentist to rule out any other underlying issues.
- Delayed Eruption: If your baby hasn’t shown any signs of teething by the age of 18 months, it’s recommended to consult a pediatric dentist. Delayed eruption may be a sign of an underlying dental problem.
Teething is a natural process that can cause discomfort for babies as their teeth erupt through the gums. Understanding the reasons behind teething pain and knowing how to manage it can help ease the process for both you and your little one.
At Pearl Dental P.C, we offer comprehensive, family-centered pediatric dental care in a child-friendly nurturing environment. If you are looking for a place to call your dental home, please schedule a consultation with Dentist Farmington Hills online today or Call us at (248) 476-4416.