How to Know When Your Baby is Teething

How do you know when your little one starts teething or when do babies start teething?

Typically, the first set of teeth marks an important period in your baby’s life, and most parents treasure these precious moments for a lifetime. One good thing about teething is that it will allow you to include different foods in your baby’s diet (e.g., fruits, beans, etc.) and this tends to influence weight gain and general development. So when do babies start teething?

Symptoms of teething

The first set of teeth (called primary teeth) appear within the first six months and are preceded by symptoms such as swelling and excessive fussing. The fussing is attributed to discomfort and soreness in the gums as the new teeth start pushing through, and this is most intense in the days before the new teeth appear. Soreness reduces significantly when the teeth appear through the skin.

It should be noted that the effects and severity of the symptoms vary widely, and not all babies are affected by teething. In the period before the new teeth come out, babies are seen biting on toys and other objects as a way to minimize pressure on their gums. They might also refuse food because of the discomfort in the mouth.

The main symptoms to watch out for are drooling, irritation, a rash on the face or chin, and sensitivity. The lower teeth will come out first, and to encourage safe teething parents are sometimes encouraged to give the baby a safe, non-toxic item to chew on when the symptoms appear.

Ways to improve teething for your little one:

1. Using a clean finger, gently rub your baby’s gum for a couple of minutes at a time. It should help reduce any discomfort – although some babies object to this at first.

2. If teething appears to be painful and causes serious discomfort, use pain relievers from your local pharmacy. Make sure the medication is designed for babies.

3. Alternatively, try to use cold temperatures to reduce discomfort in the gums. If you have any cold food that you can give him, it could be very effective at numbing the gums and eliminating pain.

Teething rings and gels are discouraged by the FDA because your baby could suffer additional effects from numbing substances. If for instance, the gel gets into the throat, it could cause numbness; making it very difficult to swallow food. Other medicines in the gels can hurt young children.

Here’s what to watch out for as your baby starts teething

Premature babies have been known to experience delayed teething, so if your baby has passed the six-month mark without any teeth showing, it could be perfectly normal. If however, you notice any of the following symptoms, it is recommended that you contact a health expert (pediatrician) immediately:

i. A high fever, vomiting, diarrhea
ii. Bumps, lesions, or inflamed gums
iii. Gums are turning color (blue is considered dangerous because it could mean that cysts are forming in the gums).

Your baby’s new teeth will help him build and exercise speech in the months that follow. As babies learn to bite and chew, they exercise the jaw, tongue, lips, and cheeks; which comes in handy when they learn to speak.