A study was conducted by BioMed Central Ltd in Taif, Saudi Arabia, to determine the knowledge of parents regarding baby teething practices. Of the 493 participants, 93.1% believed that the desire to bite is a sign of teething. Other signs and symptoms that parents knew included fever (87%), gum irritation (84.2%), increased salivation (84%) and diarrhea (83%). Only 18.5% of parents were able to answer all the questions relating to teething problems. This only goes to show that there is a lack of knowledge about the whole teething process and how to handle the situation. Here are a few things every parent needs to know about the process.
Stages of the Process
The first stage of baby teething is called pre-teething. During this stage, the teeth start rising from the jaw bones. This stage and its discomfort usually go unnoticed, since there is no physical evidence of this occurring. The only thing that can tell you of this stage is the discomfort the child faces, which most of us misinterpret. The next stage is the one that we usually address, since it offers visual evidence. In this stage, the tooth shows signs of inflammation on the baby’s gums. Discomfort and crankiness are traits associated in this stage as well.
There are several symptoms that can point towards your baby’s teething process. These include:
- Being constantly cranky and grumpy
- Excessive drooling
- Finding it difficult to sleep at night
- Chewing and biting anything and everything
- Biting the parent is also a clear symptom
- Becoming a picky eater, leading to bad appetite
- Red, swollen cheeks and gums
Foods to Avoid During This Time
The reason infants become picky eaters during this time is that certain food items increase the discomfort and the pain that they are already going through. It is better to eliminate these food items from their diet during the baby teething process, once they start showing symptoms. Anything that is hard to chew should not be fed, since it will increase the pain. Avoid feeding extremely cold food items directly from the refrigerator. While mildly cold things are ideal to soothe the sore gums, extremely cold items tend to have the opposite effect. Avoid feeding the baby anything spicy during these times too. Avoiding anything citrus is also advisable during the process.
How to Help Soothe the Pain
Give the child something to chew on or bite, like a teething ring, can be a good idea. Cold water can also help relieve the pain. Most of all, give them lots of love and care so that they can deal with this stage of life.