The appearance of primary teeth in babies is known as teething. Many babies experience some discomfort during teething and can understandably become irritable when new teeth break through their gums.
It’s important to remember that your baby’s first teeth are just as important as their permanent teeth.
This is because they help your baby to learn to chew, speak properly and most crucially, these teeth reserve the space in their gums for the eruption of permanent teeth.
What are the signs and symptoms?
You can determine whether your baby is teething by the following signs:
- Frequent crying and crankiness
- A mild fever
- Reddened cheeks and drooling
- Loss of appetite
- Mild diarrhea
- Sucking on toys
- Pulling the ear on the same side as the erupting tooth
It is extremely important not to ignore symptoms such as fever and diarrhea in your baby. If these symptoms occur, seek medical advice to eliminate other reasons for the symptoms.
How can I help to relieve my baby’s teething discomfort?
To help minimise your baby’s discomfort try the following:
- Wash your hands and gently rub your baby’s gums with a clean finger;
- Give your baby a teething ring or wet washcloth to bite. The rings can be chilled in the fridge (not the freezer) before being used to help manage discomfort associated with teething;
- Give your baby unsweetened rusks to chew on.
Contact your dentist or local chemist for advice before using any pain relief specifically created for babies.