Teething is one of the many things your baby will have to go through in his early years, it has it’s pros like they can now start to eat solid foods and chew on bigger pieces but it also comes with it’s difficulties. Babies have different experiences in teething, some might be easier than others but most babies will have minor symptoms like drooling, chewing on whatever they could grab, irritability due to gums being sore, but other babies are reported to have more serious symptoms like high fever, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Although none of these more serious symptoms has been proven to be linked directly to teething, and/or how, number of parents have reported that their babies experience these symptoms only when they started to grow teeth. Vomiting, can be alarming specifically if your baby can only express how they feel using facial expressions and not yet fully with words. It is always best to consult your doctor or your babies pediatrician to make sure that it is not related to other viral disease.
When does teething start?
According to the American Dental Association, babies start teething when they are between 4 and 7 months old. The bottom teeth known as pegs, typically come in first, followed by the top center teeth. The rest of the teeth cut through the gums over a period of 2 years. By the time a child is 3 years old, they should have their primary set of 20 teeth.
Below is a general guide to when you can expect your baby’s tooth to pop out.
- First teeth: Lower central incisors (bottom two teeth), at around 6-10 months.
- Second teeth: Upper central incisors (upper two teeth), at around 8-13 months.
- Third teeth: Upper lateral incisors (next to the central teeth), at around 9-13 months.
- Fourth teeth: Lower lateral incisors (next to the central teeth), at around 10-16 months.
- First set of molars: Both upper and lower back teeth, at around 13-19 months.
- Canine teeth: Also known as the eye teeth or cuspid, at around 16-23 months.
- Second set of upper and lower molars: at around 23-33 months.
- Swollen gums – If your child’s gums are swollen and you can feel at least one tooth-sized lump, that means teething is in progress.
- Chewing, biting, and sucking – Because your child’s gums are irritated, you might see them gnawing on just about anything—toys, crib rails, even their clothes, and fists.
- Rubbing their gums, ears, and cheeks – Your baby might rub their gums to relieve pressure. They might also pull their ears and fidget with their cheeks—especially when their molars appear. (Note that yanking on ears can also signal an ear infection, so it’s important to bring up this symptom with your pediatrician.)
- Drooling – No one knows why teething babies produce so much saliva, says Dr. Hanna, but the theory is that the increase of muscle movement in the mouth during this teething period simulates chewing, which activates the salivary glands. Excess drool can also cause occasional gagging or coughing.
- Mouth rash – The continual wetness from excess drooling can cause a rash around the mouth, chin, or neck.
- Irritability and nighttime fussiness – Not surprisingly, teething makes many babies crankier and fussier than usual. “Teething babies may be edgy or hard to settle at nap time and bedtime because of throbbing gums, but it’s a dull pain, so you can usually distract them during the day,” says Ari Brown, M.D., a pediatrician and co-author of Baby 411: Clear Answers and Smart Advice for Your Baby’s First Year. Note, however, that if your baby is grumpy all day long and appears uninterested in other activities, they might have an ear infection, so it’s best to contact your pediatrician.
- Decreased appetite. Some kids lose their appetite and refuse to eat or drink. This teething symptom should be short-lived, though.
- Mild fever. This is characterized by a fever of less than 101 degrees Fahrenheit, this can be caused by gum inflammation. If mild fever is accompanied by a runny nose, a bout of diarrhea, or other strange symptoms, call your pediatrician. Jill Lasky, D.D.S., a pediatric dentist at Lasky Pediatric Dental Group in Los Angeles, says teething doesn’t cause these symptoms.
- Loose stools. Babies may have loose stools from swallowing extra saliva or from changes in diet (teething babies are typically trying various solid foods for the first time). But Dr. Brown says to call the doctor “if the stools are explosive, numerous, or accompanied by blood or mucus.”
Is vomiting caused by teething?
If your baby is experiencing vomiting, or looks ill, don’t assume right away that it’s from teething and just wait for it to “wear off”. It is always best to consult your doctor to get professional advise.
A paper published in “Pediatrics in Review” emphasizes that an infant will be teething at the same point in their life where they begin to get exposed to many childhood illnesses. Also, the passive immunity that the mother passed on to the babies in the womb decreased at this time. As a result, it is likely that vomiting during this time is due to a bacterial or viral infection.
Teething pains are something we parents can’t avoid, as much as we want our babies to always feel comfortable, they won’t. We can however help them ease these pains by giving them some recommended remedies by doctors or their pediatrician. The list below are general remedies that worked for most babies while teething, remember to always base your actions from your baby’s response. All babies are different and one remedy might work for some babies but not for others.
- Cold relief – this is one of the most basic teething remedies that will help soothe your babies sore gums, you can freeze anything that is safe for them to eat like frozen fruits. You can freeze a washcloth too and rub it gently to your baby’s gums. Wet a soft baby washcloth and put it in the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes. When it’s cold and stiff, touch it to your baby’s gums, or even let your baby hold it while chewing on it. The washcloth should be too big to be swallowed and it will stay cold for several minutes.
- Breastfeeding comfort – for breastfeeding moms, you must know now that they latch not only to feed but also when they are stressed or needs soothing, teething is no exception. The sucking is what matters for some babies, but don’t feel like you have to keep nursing if it’s not working. Move on to other options if the pain is still a problem. Also, for some babies, Mom’s breast can be tempting to bite on. Several bloggers recommend rubbing your baby’s gums with a clean finger if biting becomes a problem.
- Teething biscuits – you can start to offer teething biscuits to your baby by 8-12 months but don’t forget about gum hygiene. To protect against cavities, wipe the gum area and teeth with a clean cloth. As they get more teeth you can start including a toothbrush in your baby’s routine. Toothpaste is not even required, just make sure to brushing the plaque off to help prevent cavities later on.
- Teething rings and toys – To ease their teething pain and to keep them entertained, they can easily grasp on to the teething ring and chew on them to self-soothe. Avoid freezing the gel types of toys/rings because they may break more easily when your baby gnaws on them, keeping them cold will be enough.
We at 1happykiddo knows that the teething stage of a child is one of the most tricky part out of all the growing up that are happening to your baby, we can only help them by being extra observant and sensitive to their needs. All we want is for our babies to feel calm and comfortable, but that’s not possible all the time.
Teething is normal but vomiting is not, making assumptions will not guarantee that it will stop, nor will it make you stop thinking about how your baby is actually feeling. Go and call your baby’s pediatrician to get the advice you can actually depend on!