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Parenting

A Guide To Teething

When it comes to teething, even the sweetest angels have the worst blow-ups when teeth begin to cut their gums. Fortunately, baby teeth erupt according to a predictable schedule so you can make all the necessary preparations beforehand to ease your little darling’s discomfort!

Photo credit: www.webmd.com

Photo credit: www.webmd.com

Although there has been no scientific proof that teething causes fever or diarrhoea, it’s a common occurrence in most babies. It’s also been reported that the first tooth and molars cause the most discomfort but many mummies report canines to be worse.

Before the teething tantrums kick in full speed, prepare and stock up on these remedies.

  1. Gentle Rubs
    Using a damp cloth or your finger to rub their gums alleviates the pain. More importantly, it breaks down the gum tissues which facilitates the teething process.
  2. Icy Toys
    Teething rings that are filled with gel or hollowed to store water can be chilled or frozen. These toys tend to lose their cooling effect within 20 minutes, so keep a few stocked in the fridge and rotate throughout the day. Alternatively, babies find comfort in gnawing on a bottle of iced water or sliced frozen cucumbers and carrots.
  3. Creams and Medication
    When things do become too unbearable, teething gels or children’s pain medication like Tylenol or Motrin can be bought off the shelf. Just be sure to consult your doctor beforehand or check for any possible allergic reactions.

Photo credit: babyteething

Photo credit: @babyteething

Some parents will find themselves worrying about crooked teeth. Even if they aren’t permanent, the importance of its alignment is beyond just an aesthetic smile. Milk teeth act as natural braces that guide their permanent set to grow in the right places. Genetics do play a part in how our jaws are aligned or the way teeth grow, but a little awareness and caution goes a long way.

Photo credit: eden_swartz_photography

No Sucking
Teeth can grow in a manner than adapts to the ever present pacifier or thumb in your baby’s mouth. The sucking motion applies pressure onto the gums as the teeth are about to erupt, shifting its original position, so take note when your baby does this and prevent them from making a habit out of it.

Oral Hygiene
Oral care can begin at a week old by cleaning their gums with a damp cloth until teeth begin to appear. When the first tooth sprouts, brush their teeth twice, daily.

Tooth Brush
Choose soft bristles with a small brush head and wide handle for easier grip. If tooth brushing is a difficult habit to instil, electronic tooth brushes can make it a fun and anticipated affair.

Tooth Paste
Fluoride toothpastes help strengthen teeth and build up resistance against decay. However, children’s teeth are sensitive and too much can cause surface irregularities and yellow or dark brown stains on the teeth (fluorosis). Use a grain of rice or less worth of normal toothpaste until they’re 3 years old before increasing it slightly. Alternatively, children’s toothpastes have adjusted fluoride contents that is age suitable.

If you want more specific advice for your baby’s oral health, it never hurts to consult a dentist early! They are trained for the trade and can spot early signs of bigger problems that are invisible to us. 

Do you have any tips to curb the teething woes? Share them with us in the comments below!

RELATED: Baby’s First Tooth: What To Expect
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