AS PRINTED IN THE DAILY MAIL 28TH AUGUST:
Did you know that a baby’s first teeth actually develop while growing in the womb? There are so many articles that give definite guidelines about when teeth will push through and how many your child should have at different stages. I say throw all the books out or only use them as a very rough guideline. My sister Grace was born with a tooth and although this is rare it does happen. It was not a very nice surprise for my mum though when she bit her when she was breastfeeding in the early days.
James started teething at around 3 months and got about six teeth in quick succession. My friend’s baby is about 11 months now and only has two little teeth at the bottom and she is so worried that there is something wrong developmentally.
Be assured that in most cases this is not true. All children develop at different stages and the teething process is no different. Some children will glide through teething whilst others will drool for months, be put off their food and chew on just about anything they can get their little hands on. There are a few things you can do to help ease their pain and there are lots of great products on the market including gels and teething toys.
First of all to relieve your baby from discomfort you should clean their mouth 2-3 times a day with wet gauze. Anything cold is great so keep the teething toys in the fridge to help soothe gums. The coldness of the teething toy provides a numbing effect.
Mam, Nuby and Clevamama have great products made especially for this. I used to put ice into a cold clean cloth for him to bite or just use a wet, clean washcloth. You can always freeze it in a plastic bag to keep it clean. You can also run a clean finger very gently over sore gums as the gentle pressure might help soothe the pain.
Please always supervise a baby when doing any of this, as they should never be left unattended with any objects that could cause injury or are a choking hazard.
There are two teething gels on the market. The first one is Teetha, which also comes in little sachets that James loved and they worked really well. Nelsons Teetha Teething Granules is a homeopathic remedy specially formulated for the soothing and calming relief of the symptoms of teething. It is ready-dosed in a convenient granule format that simply dissolves in a baby’s mouth to help provide teething pain relief. If you’re against giving your child medication then this is the best choice for you.
The other option is the new Multi mam Baby dent teething gel that has the ability to look after your child’s teeth and give them a helping hand while they are teething. It can help to help heal the gums because of the 2QR and the Hyaluronic acid it contains. It promotes tissue repair and protects the new teeth and gums from caries.
As dental decay is the most common chronic disease of childhood in Ireland its important we look after our babies teeth from the minute they pop through.
Approximately 50% of 5 year olds will have experienced decay by the age of 5 years and over 50% of those affected will have experienced pain and symptoms as a result of decay. Early childhood decay is a very aggressive type of decay and can destroy multiple teeth in only a few months. Milk teeth have thin enamel and large nerves on the inside. Decay travels to the nerve of the tooth and causes pain and infection much more rapidly than in an adult tooth which is why early detection of problems is so important in children’s teeth. Companies like brush baby (www.brushbaby.co.uk) have designed a range of products especially for babies, toddlers and young children that takes into account their tooth development, habits and brushing skills. They have great little brushes for babies, which helps to instill good habits early on.
You should always dry the drool to prevent skin irritation and use bibs like the Neckerchew (www.cheekychompers.com), which is Chewable, Absorbent and Reversible. It has a little chewy corner and babies just love the texture of the little teething triangle. Its great for out and about as you don’t have to constantly keep picking up the teethers when they drop them. Skibz are also a great brand that are highly absorbent and look good!
A lot of people swear by the amber teething necklaces, as amber is known for its healing abilities as a stone. I did put one on James but be warned that they are not fully approved and do carry potential risks such as choking and inhalation of the beads if they break.
A mum called Dominika Badura has launched an online shop with baby teething jewellery (www.mikabteethingjewellery.ie) that is safe for babies to chew on and looks great on mums. It is made of non-toxic, food grade silicone, the same kind of silicon baby’s soothers and bottle nipples are made of. These can be great for babies to pull and chew on especially if you’re out and about as it keeps the occupied.
Last but not least have lots of cuddles and patience ready. Teething can be tough on parents as none of us want to see our babies in pain but it will pass and then the next adventure is just around the corner.