The Truth About Teething: Why It’s So Painful and What You Can Do to Help

It’s that time in the life of your baby. You’re at home with your baby and he or she has begun to show signs of teething. 

They’re drooling more than usual, chewing on everything in sight, and have become more cranky than usual. 

Your little one might be uncomfortable, and you want to do whatever you can to help them feel better as soon as possible. 

But what do babies experience when they go through teething? Why is teething painful? What are natural home remedies to soothe teething issues? 

Keep reading as we explore ways to help your baby get through teething issues.

Common Symptoms of Teething

Teething can be a painful experience for babies, but it doesn’t have to be. 

As your baby begins teething, they will experience a number of symptoms that may affect their mood, appetite and behavior. The most common symptoms are excessive drooling, tooth pain, fever (in rare cases), restless sleep and irritability.  

While you may not notice these signs if you’re not the one caring for your little one, an experienced pediatrician should be able to tell just by looking at them. 

Let’s take a closer look at the three main sources of discomfort associated with teething: gum soreness, throat irritation and ear infection. Gum soreness is caused by inflammation in the gums caused by new teeth pushing through the surface area. 

Is My Baby In Pain?

Babies are born without teeth, but they can begin teething as early as 3 months old. 

They will have a set of 20 baby teeth by the time they turn 4 years old, so it is important to understand what your baby may be experiencing when they go through this process. 

Teething is typically painful because the tooth roots are growing under the gums, and the pressure on them causes an increase in blood flow.   

The swelling caused by the increased blood flow also presses against nerve endings which results in pain for your baby.  

But there’s nothing to be alarmed about – this is a natural process, and with the right remedies they will experience relief, and so will you!

Myths about Teething

We encourage parents to stay informed about teething, and know what myths they may encounter when their child begins to teeth.

Myth #1- Babies don’t feel pain. Babies may not be able to articulate the feeling of pain, but they feel pain as acutely as we do. 

Myth #2– Teething is a source of fever in children. There are many things that can cause fever in children, such as infections or colds, teething is not one of them. 

Myth #3– The teeth grow from the gums. Teeth grow from the back of the jaw behind the gum line. 

Myth #4– A baby will stop crying when their tooth breaks through. When a baby cries because they’re in pain, it could be for any number of reasons (e.g., hunger, ear infection) so it’s impossible to know whether tooth eruption has anything to do with their tears. 

Myth #5– Children should get their first tooth by six months old at latest and every tooth thereafter within two years. False. Most children have their first tooth between 7 and 11 months old, with the average being around 8 months. Many people believe that there’s an order of which teeth come in (for example, bottom middle top), but this isn’t true either.

For more information and guidance, consult your pediatrician, who can assess your baby’s gums and prescribe the appropriate medication and ointment.

Natural Indian Home Remedies for Soothing baby’s aching gums

There are many things you can do to help soothe aching gums. Listed below are some of the most popular ones that have been tested and proven over the years. 

1) Breastmilk- Some babies enjoy drinking breast milk because it helps relieve their pain. Plus, it is still packed with plenty of important vitamins and nutrients that baby needs at this stage in their development.  

2) Coconut Oil- Massaging coconut oil onto your child’s gums can reduce inflammation and make them feel better.   

3) Licorice Root (Mulethi) – The natural sweetness of licorice root combined with its soothing properties makes it an ideal choice when dealing with teething issues. 

4) Rusk or breadsticks is an effective way to soothe your baby’s gums. You can choose different flavours based on your child’s preference. Make sure they haven’t gone too soft when your baby chews on them. 

5) Try cold foods like bananas, raw carrots and cucumbers that have been kept in the fridge for some time for them to provide cooling and soothing sensations. Supervise what your children are eating to prevent them from choking. 

It is recommended to consult your doctor if you are concerned about your baby’s teething issues. 

You will be prescribed appropriate ointments and paracetamols to help your little one feel better. 

If you’d like an assessment for your child, you can also get in touch with us and schedule an appointment. 

To learn about oral hygiene and caring for your little one’s teeth, read this article