If your baby is not looking very pleased with the emergence of his/her first milk teeth, then you must definitely consider reading the following article as it provides in-depth information on teething remedies for infants.
Sequential emergence of an infant’s milk teeth through the gums is known as teething. This process is also known as ‘cutting teeth’, and it may start as early as three months or may get delayed up to twelve months. During this process, the teeth typically arrive in pairs, and are accompanied by the release of certain chemicals which result in the breakdown of a few cells in the gums. This in turn, allows the teeth to come through. The first teeth mostly appear between six to nine months, and it takes quite a few years for all the twenty teeth to complete the eruption process.
For most of the babies, teething is a painful experience which is somewhat similar to what adults feel during the emergence of wisdom teeth.
- This process puts a pressure on the ear canal and sinuses of the baby. It can also lead to infections and may cause a slightly elevated temperature.
- Lack of sleep, increased irritability and crankiness, diarrhea, swelling, redness and pain in the gums, biting and drooling are some of the prominent symptoms observed.
- The babies may refuse to drink or eat and can develop a mild rash around the mouth.
- Teething tablets are medicated pills that temporarily relieve the baby from most of the ‘cutting teeth’ symptoms. These are directly administered by placing 2 or 3 of them underneath the tongue. Most of them are homeopathic medicines.
- For best results, they can be given at least 4 to 5 times a day. Most of these tablets contain a few naturally occurring substances like Calcarea Phosphorica, Coffea Cruda, Chamomilla, and Belladonna.
- These substances help in reducing the pain, redness, swelling, and inflammation of gums. They also work positively on some other indicants like wakefulness, crankiness, and irritability.
- Doctors also prescribe the use of non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs containing benzocaine or lidocaine.
- Gels similar to toothpaste work as a numbing agent to dull the nerves in the gums. It helps in alleviating the pain to a large extent.
- An ingredient like belladonna, a perennial herb, is traditionally used as a sedative. It is known to have a calming effect on the infant, and also provides relief from other ailments like diarrhea, headache, and soreness of gums. Along with these benefits, there are a few side effects that one needs to be aware of. These include dry mouth, constipation, vomiting, etc.
- Chamomilla, which has a calming effect, is considered a safe ingredient unless the baby is not allergic to ragweed.
- While using gels, follow the instructions on the package to ensure that the right amount of medication is administered.
- Products containing aspirin should be avoided due to the risk of Reye’s syndrome (known to have detrimental effects on the brain and liver).
Apart from medicines, there are a few healthy and safe options available that you can use for releasing the pressure from the sinuses and ears. It also assists in distracting the babies from the pain of ‘cutting teeth’.
- You can use teething rings or toys called ‘teethers’ such as rubber rings, fluid-filled rings, biscuits, crackers, etc.
- You can also feed the baby with yogurt, banana, and other such cold food items. Massaging the gums in a circular motion, with clean fingers, can also be helpful.
Always consult a pediatrician before taking any medication. You wouldn’t want to make any mistakes in matters concerning your bundle of joy.
Disclaimer: This AptParenting article is for informative purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.