Teething In Toddlers – Everything You Need To Know

Teething In Toddlers

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Are your toddler’s first teeth showing up? Is he drooling more often than usual? Is he scratching behind his ear, even though you checked there was no infection? Growing teeth sounds like an exciting process, but it does tend to make your little one extremely cranky and difficult to handle.

Read this post to find out about teething, how it affects toddlers and how to provide teething pain relief for toddlers.

What Is Teething?

Teething is the process of growing teeth. It is normal for toddlers, and you don’t have to take any special steps at this stage. As your toddler develops new teeth, he will take some time to adjust to his new teething conditions. Toddlers usually grow their first teeth in the 4th month, but it may be different for some toddlers. There are no thumb rules to determine when a toddler begins teething. It depends on him. Sometimes teething can also occur after your little one is a year-old.

The first teeth your little one develops are the upper and lower incisors or the front teeth. The canines are the next to spring up, followed by the premolars. When the premolars begin erupting, your toddler leaves cues to tell you that he is teething. The eruption of new teeth is an alien experience to your toddler and will make him highly uncomfortable and cranky.

Signs And Symptoms Of Teething In Toddlers:

So, how do you tell that your toddler is teething? Simple really! Keep an eye out for some common toddler teething symptoms, which include:

1. Drooling:

A teething toddler will tend to drool more than others, as the eruption and pain force him to keep his mouth open for longer periods. You’ll know when your toddler begins teething, as he will end up drooling more than usual. The excess drooling can also lead to infections like a facial rash.

2. Swollen Gums:

As teeth erupt, they usually cut through the gums, which can lead to swollen gums. The condition usually occurs due to teething. If your little one’s gums are swollen and sore, you know that he is going to grow a new tooth soon.

3. Irritation:

The sore gums and erupting teeth can cause discomfort, and you will find that your toddler gets irritated too easily and is fussy most of the time.

4. Itching Around The Ear:

Tooth problems usually affect the ears. Erupting teeth will trigger the same kind of problems in toddlers. If your toddler scratches his ear too often, he may be teething. If he isn’t teething, check to see if he has a skin infection.

5. Sleeplessness:

Usually, toddlers eat, play and sleep. When your toddler is teething, he may have trouble getting to sleep and may bawl continuously.

6. Decreased appetite:

Your toddler might not eat too well when he is teething. The irritation, swollen gums, and itchy ears all contribute to your toddler’s decreased appetite.

7. Biting:

Toddlers may begin biting down on things when they are teething. If you are nursing and your baby is teething, be extra careful as he might end up biting your nipple at the end of a nursing session. Keep an eye out for any tension in his jaw or if his tongue is not in the normal position. He may be preparing to bite down. Another way to know if your toddler needs to feed or feels the urge to bite is to offer him your finger. If he bites down, he is teething, if he sucks your finger, he wants to feed.

8. Teeth Visible Inside The Gums:

The most obvious sign that your toddler is teething is the appearance of white teeth along the lower jaw.

[ Read: Teaching Toddlers To Brush Their Teeth ]

How To Ease Teething Pain In Toddlers:

Teething isn’t a sporadic pain, or even a temporary condition. It is a process, and your toddler has to put up with persistent pain. So what can you do to help relieve your little one’s discomfort? Read on and find out:

Give him something to bite, like a chew toy. Make sure that the chew toy is clean and germ-free. The chew toy needs to be bigger than your toddler’s mouth so that he doesn’t end up swallowing it.

You can also give your toddler some ice to chew. The ice will help cool his gums, and the numbness will in turn help reduce the pain and discomfort of teething. Make sure that the ice pieces aren’t small enough for your toddler to choke on. If feeding ice seems too risky, you can create a small ice pack and place it against the swollen gums. Make sure that you sterilize your hands and place the ice packs for 10-15 minute sessions.

You can also consider feeding him ice cream, cold milk or cool drinks. One of the best approaches is to give him a frozen vegetable to lick. Carrots are the obvious choice. They are sweet and are safe, as they are bigger than your toddler’s mouth. So, you won’t have to worry about your toddler choking on a carrot.

[ Read: Bad Breath In Toddlers ]

Complications Of Teething In Toddlers:

Teething is a part of the tooth development phase, and it is perfectly normal. Sometimes though, the discomfort, stress, and pain can make your toddler fall ill. He may contract a slight fever. The fever is not high, but you will notice the change in your toddler. The fever goes away automatically. If the fever is too high and refuses to abate, take your toddler to a doctor immediately.

There are some theories about toddlers developing a runny nose, loose stools, and a fever before the eruption of a new tooth, but research indicates no such developments. Pediatrician and author of The Baby Book, William Sears says, “teething can lead to diarrhea as the excess saliva loosens your toddler’s stools.”

So, we hope that you found this information useful. What measures did you take when your little angel was teething? Share your stories and experiences with fellow moms here. Leave a comment in the box below. We would love to hear from you.

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