It is a joyous moment for parents to see small pearly white teeth emerging from their babies’ gums. Babies make sure that their teething phase is a memorable time for their parents.
Generally, the babies get cranky, have sleepless nights, and become sluggish when they are teething. It is a tough time for parents to comfort their babies and reduce their discomfort.
During this time, a lot of experienced parents and grandparents will offer their sincere advice and suggest some remedies to help the baby with the teething process.
While they might share their experiences and teething facts in a good faith to help you and your baby, and ease the discomfort of teething, some of the facts aren’t even facts!
If you are receiving a lot of suggestions and remedies on how to make the teething process easy for babies, then we would strongly advise you not to follow them blindly. Do your research and only apply the ones which are backed by science.
The majority of the time the remedies that are shared are nothing but just myths, and not even backed by science.
Below we have mentioned some common teething myths that the parents often come across in their parenting journey. We have busted these myths and explained the proper reason behind them.
These myths will help you to only use the remedies that have a logical explanation and will not harm your baby. After all, no compromise should be made on the baby’s health.
When Will Your Baby Start Teething?
Generally, the babies begin to teeth when they reach the age of 4 and 7 months old. If your baby has passed the age of 7 months and still hasn’t begun to teethe then there is no need to worry.
As we have stated in previous articles that there is no need to rush the natural development of the babies. Every baby grows and achieves his development milestone at his own pace.
Seven Baby Teething Myths & Facts Parents Should Know
1. Using Amber Teeth Necklace Will Reduce The Teething Pain
A very common teething myth that the parents will hear is of using bones and amber beads to heal the teething pain and protect the teeth of babies.
It is believed that when the babies chew on the amber beads, the body heat of the baby releases succinic acid by activating the amber. Succinic acid is believed to have pain-relieving properties. However, these claims are not backed by science.
Even if people claim that these beads work wonders for babies there is a serious risk attached to it that can even prove to be fatal for your baby.
If the baby tries to pull the necklace or the beads, it can break and choke the baby. If your baby finds it comforting to use the teething necklace, then make sure to follow the below guidelines to keep your baby safe:
- Do not put the necklace around your baby’s neck. Shorten its length and put it on his wrist.
- Never leave your baby unattended while he is chewing on the beads. Take the beads from him if you are leaving him alone, even if it is for a short while.
2. Rubbing Brandy On Baby’s Gum To Soothe
Another myth that the older generation shares to soothe the swollen gums of the baby is to rub brandy on his sore and swollen gums.
Not only alcohol is dangerous for your baby, but increased use of brandy or other alcoholic beverages will numb the throat of your baby and make it difficult for him to swallow.
This remedy might seem like a life-saver to calm down the tired, irritated, and wailing baby. But, remember it is not safe for your little one.
Generally, it’s the older generation that suggests these remedies. Thank goodness, new parents are not in the favor of this idea.
3. Teething Gels Helps Reduce The Pain And Irritation
Teething gels are often marketed as baby products and claim to soothe the irritation and swelling of the gums. As a parent, you might get inclined to buy such gels to calm down your cranky baby. But refrain to use these gels on your baby if they’re under the age of 2 years.
You might wonder why we are advising you not to use these gels when a good majority of people use them. The reason behind this is the safety of your child. These teething gels contain benzocaine, which is a numbing agent. This ingredient can lead to the development of a lethal condition called methemoglobinemia.
Methemoglobinemia can be fatal for your baby as the body’s ability to carry oxygen is adversely affected. Moreover, if the baby swallows the gel, it can numb the backside of his throat. Making it difficult for him to swallow.
Also, if the teething gel doesn’t suit your baby, he can develop an allergic reaction to it.
4. Fluoride Toothpaste Harm The Baby’s Teeth
Another piece of advice that you are most likely to hear is that you should not use fluoride toothpaste on your little one’s teeth as it can be dangerous and harmful for his new teeth.
As a parent, you might worry that if your child tastes the toothpaste it can be harmful to his gums and teeth.
Relax! It is again a myth.
Fluoride is helpful for your baby’s teeth. It hardens the enamel of the new teeth and prevents them from decaying. If your baby is small and cannot brush his teeth, then you can introduce fluoride in his diet by giving him a few ounces of water.
The tap water contains fluoride. You can boil the tap water and give it to your baby in a straw cup. Bottled water from the markets doesn’t contain fluoride.
You can also consult your pediatrician and ask if your baby needs fluoride supplements for healthy gums and teeth.
If your child is a grown-up and knows how to spit. Then encourage them to brush their teeth with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste to prevent cavities.
5. Children Don’t Need Regular Dental Checkup
It’s a popular belief that children don’t need to visit the dentist unless there is a problem with their teeth or gums during the teething phase.
However, taking your baby to a dentist is strongly recommended as soon as he starts teething. The dentists will make sure that everything is fine and will suggest proper ways to soothe the irritated gums of the baby.
Schedule an appointment with the pediatric dentists as soon the first tooth of the baby erupts. A pediatric dentist will examine your baby’s tooth and will ensure that his teeth develop properly. Moreover, he will also advise you on how to maintain the proper hygiene of your baby’s teeth.
6. Teething Is Always Accompanied By Fever
Another teething myth is that teething is always accompanied by fever. However, experts suggest fever has nothing to do with teething in babies.
The temperature of a baby’s spike when his gums cause irritation and inflammation. The increased temperature is not fever, as the body’s temperature does not exceed 38 Celsius.
If your baby’s temperature rises then relax it is not fever. If the temperature exceeds 98 Fahrenheit, then consult the pediatrician to treat the fever of your baby.
Do not confuse the increased temperature of your babies with fever.
7. Cavities In Baby’s Teeth Do Not Need Filling
What’s the point of filling the baby’s teeth when they are going to fall off anyway? The milk teeth of a baby will indeed fall but if the cavities are not treated, then it can lead to infections and affect the gums of the baby.
If your toddler gets cavities seek the treatment immediately and fill them. Delaying the treatment of cavities will lead to serious oral problems that can be quite painful when your baby grows up.
These were some of the popular myths that parents often hear from their peers and other elderly members of the family. These myths have no backing by science and some of them can even harm the teeth and gums of your baby in the long run.
If a friend or a family member comes up with a remedy to help you and your baby, then make sure you do not run to apply it. If there is anything wrong with your baby’s teeth, or if he is facing any sort of discomfort then instead of applying home remedies, consult a pediatric dentist.
Babies First Tooth Symptoms
The symptoms of tooth eruption are not the same for every baby. It varies in every child. Some babies have extreme discomfort and irritation, while there are some babies for whom this process is quite breezy. They don’t feel any kind of pain or swelling in their gums.
The following are some common symptoms that a baby feels during the teething process.
- Red, tender, and swollen gums
- A baby becomes fussy and cranky
- Increased body temperature, but less than 101 Fahrenheit
- A strong urge to chew on hard items
- Rashes on face due to excessive drool produced by the baby
- A baby puts his hand in his mouth
- Sometimes the diet of the baby is affected as he finds it difficult to swallow
Disturbed sleep at night
The teething phase can be uncomfortable and sometimes even painful for the babies. If your baby has the above symptoms then there is nothing much to worry about. But if your baby has a high-grade fever, nausea, diarrhea, or rashes on his body, then do not mistake them for the teething symptoms. Immediately consult your doctor to seek treatment.
Moreover, if your baby’s gum is swollen, bleeding, or has pus, then immediately consult your pediatrician.
Tips To Soothe The Teething Discomfort
The wails of the baby due to the discomfort of teething can be nerve-wrecking for parents. To soothe your baby’s discomfort and pain use the below-listed methods. These methods are safe for your baby’s gum and teeth.
1. Offer Them Cold Items
Babies have a strong urge to chew on hard objects. When they put cold things inside their mouth, it soothes them and relieves their pain.
Give your babies cold items such as a cold pacifier, spoon, or a wet washcloth (make sure it is clean). Simply refrigerate the items and let your baby’s chew on them. Do not freeze the items as the increased temperature can adversely affect your baby’s gum.
There are many teething toys available in the market. However, these toys can hurt your baby’s gums and mouth. Make sure that the items you are giving to your baby are thoroughly washed and cleaned. Giving unclean items to your baby will make his tummy upset, along with infecting the tender gums.
2. Teething Crackers
Giving teething crackers to babies satisfies their urge to chew on something hard. Make sure that the crackers you give to your babies are unsweetened and hard.
Excessive sugar and salt are not good for your baby’s health. Moreover, ensure that the cracker is hard and will not get soggy quickly. If the cracker breaks easily then it can choke your baby. Give your baby a teething cracker only when he is with you or under the supervision of an adult.
3. Cool Water
If you are not comfortable with the above methods, or if this is not possible for you to do, then this method is quite easy.
Give your baby a few sips of cool water in a sippy cup. The cool water will soothe his irritated gums and subside his pain.
This tip is applicable only if your baby is older than 6 months.
4. Massage The Gums
Another remedy to help subside your baby’s pain is to massage his gums with your finger. Simply, use your clean finger and massage his gums. If your baby tries to gnaw your fingers, then let him do it.
To make it more effective, you can dip your finger in cool water and then massage their gums to quickly relieve their pain.
These methods will help you to soothe your baby if he feels any pain or discomfort during teething.
Wrapping It Up!
Teething is a memorable process for the parents. Every baby responds to this process in his unique way. For some lucky parents, their babies do not give them a hard time. On the other hand, some babies face discomfort and pain during this process.
As a parent is important for you to stay informed about the teething process and the symptoms that are accompanied by it. Do not rely on the tips and tricks shared by the people, even if it’s in the best interest of the baby.
If your baby has developed severe symptoms, then do not rely on home remedies or tricks that have no scientific logic. Consult a doctor and discuss the problem of your babies with him.