Babies can start exhibiting teething symptoms early as 2 months old, even though their first tooth might not erupt for months. While many children have no teething symptoms, others may have symptoms such as intermittent localized areas of discomfort, irritability, and excessive saliva.
There are many things that can make babies uncomfortable in their first year of life. Because babies cannot communicate to us what exactly is bothering them, often teething is blamed. When my oldest son first started teething at around 4 months, he would get extremely fussy and wouldn’t sleep well. Then the drool started and he would put everything in his mouth. However, his first tooth didn’t sprout until 7 months.
Teething may cause a slight elevation in body temperature, but it should not go above (>100.4F).
Although some loose stool may be present, diarrhea is unrelated to teething.
Baby's salivary glands start developing at 3-4 months, however babies' ability to manage their saliva or have full control over the muscles in their mouth does not fully develop until about 18 months of age. Therefore the excess saliva results in an excess amount of drool.
Starting early with oral motor exercises and activities will help to maintain a positive outlook on oral health. Do it at a time when the baby is happy, alert and awake! Remember to do each movement several times, with gentle pressure, slowly and deliberately. Gently move cheeks in circular motion. You can make this fun for baby by making a game with lots of tickles, kisses and cuddles. Silicone toothbrushes can also be used to massage the gums.
Every baby will have their own preference as there are a variety of teething toys on the market. Find what works best for your baby based on size, shape and texture, but try to avoid toys with liquid or plastic that can easily break.
Take a wet washcloth and place it in the freezer or refrigerator for 15 minutes. The cool washcloth can be very soothing for their gums.
These can be a good alternative as babies get to exercise their mouth muscles in addition to satiating their bellies. However, these crackers sometimes also contain small amounts of sugar and carbohydrates that can cause cavities.
If you’re looking for more information on teething and beyond, we’d be happy to help! Give us a call at 626-360-4500 to make an appointment!