While most babies have their first teeth erupt between four and seven months of age, some babies have their teeth erupt sooner. This is called an early eruption. While rare, early eruption is seen in some babies and is usually not a cause for concern.
These teeth are not natal or neonatal teeth but just the primary teeth that arrive sooner. According to Stanford Children’s Health, while it is common for teething symptoms, such as drooling and mouthing, to begin as early as three months, tooth eruption at this age is rare. The exact cause and risk factors associated with early eruption are not identified yet.
Read on to know about the signs, effects, and management of teething in three-month-olds.
Signs Of Teething In Three-month-old Babies
The following signs may indicate teething in a three-month-old.
- Excessive drooling
- Putting fingers and objects in the mouth
- Swollen gums
- Pain on suckling
- Loss of appetite
- Sleep deprivation
Effects Of Early Teething On The Mother’s And The Baby’s Health
Early teething does not have any remarkable effects. The effects of teething are similar at all ages, such as those mentioned below.
1. Impact on the mother
- The baby might chew or bite on the mother’s nipples to soothe their irritated gums.
- Avoid screaming or getting startled as they might find it funny. Instead, say “No biting” in a strict and firm tone. They will gradually get the message.
- If the baby continues to bite, you may consider pumping and feeding breastmilk in a bottle or using nipple shields.
2. Impact on the baby
- The baby might be irritable, cranky, and fussy.
- They may have sore gums and irritation, leading to reduced appetite, increasing the risk of poor weight gain.
- The baby may rub cheeks or pull ears often due to gum irritation.
- The baby may drool more than usual, and the excess drool could cause drool rash.
It is important to note that teething does not cause cold, rash, diarrhea, or fever. If any of these symptoms coincide with teething, do not consider them related and take the baby to your pediatrician.
Tips On Easing A Teething Infant’s Discomfort
The following tips may help soothe a teething baby’s gums.
- Try giving them hard rubber toys, teething rings,or cold teething toys to nibble on. Three-month-olds might not be able to grasp them well. Therefore, you may hold them for the baby.
- You can get teething mittens for your baby. The three-month-old may chew on teething mittens since they cannot hold teethers properly.
- You may also consider giving them cold washcloths to chew on.
- Use your clean index finger to massage the sore gums.
- You may give your baby an orthodontic pacifier that meets safety guidelines as it will help relieve toothache and not hamper the normal growth of jaws, oral muscles, and teeth.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)warns against the use of teething gels for babies as these products can be harmful. In rare cases, if the baby is in extreme teething pain, the doctor may prescribe baby-safe painkillers.
How To Take Care Of The New Teeth?
The American Dental Association suggests the following measures for oral care in babies.
- Clean the baby’s mouth using a clean washcloth even before the teeth begin to erupt.
- An early dental check-up must be done after the first tooth erupts and before the first birthday.
- As soon as teeth erupt, you must begin brushing your child’s teeth.
- Avoid giving pacifiers dipped in sweet solutions.
- Avoid bottle-feeding at night.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Does early teething mean I can introduce solids early?
No. Early teething does not warrant the need for the early introduction of solid food. The World Health Organization strongly recommends exclusive breastfeeding for up to six months.
2. Does early teething have anything to do with my baby’s intelligence?
A tooth’s eruption depends on the tooth germ (or tooth bud) in the jaws and has nothing to do with the baby’s smartness or intellect.
3. Does early teething impact mouth development?
Some babies may develop a habit of excessive thumb-sucking or pacifier-sucking when they are teething. If these habits form early due to early teething, it may lead to crooked or misaligned teeth in the long run. Speak to a dentist in case your baby is habituated to thumb- or pacifier-sucking.
4. Can my baby show symptoms without tooth eruption?
Yes. It is possible that teeth do not appear even after the expected period of four to eight days after the symptoms of teething appear. Moreover, because the symptoms of mouthing are similar to that of teething, it is possible to get confused.
Early teething in a three-month-old is rare, but it is good to stay alert to it. If you notice early signs of teething in your baby, talk to the doctor. Your doctor will examine the baby’s oral cavity and check for the signs of teeth eruption. Try the tips mentioned above to soothe your teething baby’s irritated gums.
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