Teething Symptoms and Home Remedies
Many pediatricians, scientists, researchers and parents have disagreed about the concept of teething, but any parent of a little one will tell you that whether or not it’s just a coincidence their babies are miserable when their teeth start coming in.
When newborns are born they have “teeth buds” just under the gums, and while there is no set time that those teeth will begin to appear, typically their first tooth will begin to break through between five and seven months. Some infants can begin teething as early as 3 months and some as late as 9 months to even a year.
Typically the incisors (top and bottom middle teeth) appear between the ages of six to seven months. Between the ages of 7 to 9 months the incisors will come in on each side of those first teeth that appeared. Around the age of 8 months, a baby may have 8 teeth. The first molars begin to break through at 10 to 14 months and the canines at 15 to 18 months. Finally, the second molars will come in typically between the ages of 2 to 3 years.
Many experts actually disagree about whether or not teething even has symptoms, but most parents report unique
changes prior to the appearance of their infant’s teeth. For instance, when a baby is teething their saliva production increases. This has caused many symptoms including drooling, which can sometimes cause a rash on their chin, coughing or gagging on the excess saliva and loose bowels due to swallowing that excess saliva.
Additional teething symptoms can be irritability or a desire to gnaw on anything within grasp. The pressure of the tooth trying to break through the gums can cause discomfort leading to irritability. Many babies instinctively reach for something to gnaw on as pressure on the gums will sometimes counteract the pressure caused by the teeth.
Recognizing that there really isn’t anything that can be done medically is little comfort to a parent who is dealing with a fussy, cranky, miserable little baby. The first thing to understand is that there are natural, holistic choices, and it is never going to be necessary to resort to pain relievers or gum-numbing agents. These items can actually do more harm than good, and aspirin should never be given to a baby even to rub on their gums, as it has been linked with the potentially deadly disease, Reye’s Syndrome.
Acetaminophen should also never be used, as the long-term effects of the chemicals in pain relievers on infants have not been recorded. With regards to gum-numbing agents, while they have been found to be effective, it may be potentially dangerous. Popular pediatrician, Dr. Sears says on his website, We do not recommend commercial gum-numbing substances because it is difficult to learn their exact contents and find research that validates their safety.
The only over-the-counter teething treatment approved by homeopathic and holistic professionals are teething tablets. Designed specifically to help babies with their teething symptoms, these tables dissolve immediately in the mouth and naturally relieve swelling and pain. Additionally, there are many home remedies that can help to relieve pressure, pain and discomfort. The first thing to understand is that the baby’s gums are sore and aching. A sharp tooth is trying to push through the gums and this is what is causing the discomfort and resultant fussiness. Anything that will counter-balance that pressure is going to bring relief. Many parents have reported that a clean wet washcloth put in the freezer for a short time, then given to the baby to gnaw on brings welcome relief. The cloth can be dipped in water or strong chamomile tea. The choice of tea adds a calming agent and is soothing to an infant’s tummy. Similarly, a frozen banana given to the baby will give them something natural to gnaw on. Any item that might be used by the parent should be monitored to not be so small that the child could choke on. Ice in a sandwich bag, then wrapped in a cloth works well, and for the older child already eating solid foods, cold soft foods such as applesauce or diced papaya can bring relief.
Other Home Remedies
Although in Europe the use of an Amber necklace has been used, it has recently become more popular in North America. This fossilization of resin of ancient trees is touted to have natural calming, relaxing and analgesic properties. Dr. Feder, a holistic medical doctor, recommends several homeopathic remedies; belladonna for teething accompanied by sudden fever, calcarea carbonica for chubby and sweaty babies especially while nursing or during sleep, calcarea phosphorica for delayed teething and chamomilla for swollen, inflamed and tender gums.
The Chiropractic Factor
It’s important to not interfere with the natural routine of teething. Every child is different, but teething has been proven to be hereditary. If an infant’s parent’s first tooth appeared when they were three months, then it’s safe to assume this will be generational. It’s not even unusual for a baby to be born with a tooth already in place. Recognizing the body’s innate ability to work as it was designed, DeMoss Chiropractic.
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