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20 Jul 2016

Teething: A Parent’s Survival Guide

 Teething can be a testing time for babies and parents alike. When you see little ones who are in pain, it’s only natural that as a parent or carer you want to settle and soothe them.

Today’s blog post covers all the teething basics, such as the symptoms that can signal the start of a tooth eruption, along with tools to help you tackle baby and infant discomfort caused by teething. There are also a few extra tips to add to your parenting arsenal about additional issues that teething can present, so read on for our parent’s survival guide to teething. 

The symptoms to look out for

baby teething

Baby teeth can first make an appearance at very different times. Most babies will start teething around the age of six months, but it’s perfectly possible (and surprisingly common) for babies to be born with some teeth already beginning to erupt! So, you shouldn’t be too surprised if a baby of just a few months old or even a new arrival is already working on a stunning set of pearly whites.

Even before a tooth breaks the surface of your baby’s gums they may start to display symptoms that let you know they’re feeling unwell. They could seem more irritable than usual, be harder to settle to sleep or seem as though they’re struggling with feeding. Some parents also suggest that their little ones suffer from a fever or even diarrhoea around the time of teething, though there’s no medical evidence to suggest these symptoms should be associated.

Once a tooth begins to erupt, you can expect baby to display flushed cheeks, more dribble from the mouth, and show even more interest than usual in gnawing and chewing objects and putting their hands in their mouth.

Your teething toolkit

baby teething

Your teething toolkit should be made up of both teething remedies that provide relief, and teething toys to keep babies’ mouths occupied. You’ll find a selection of effective teething treatments and baby teething toys in our baby teething remedies range so you can be prepared.

These include products that provide teething pain relief, soothe the swelling of gums and have local anaesthetic properties, such as Bonjela, Calgel, Anbesol and Dentinox. Some of these products can be used from birth onwards while others are suitable for older babies.

Since teething babies frequently try to chew on anything to hand, including their own hands, it’s wise to travel with fresh, clean teething toys. Here at Rowlands Pharmacy we sell cooling teething rings and even foods like Bickiepegs teething biscuits to keep tiny teeth occupied. 

Additional tips for tackling teething

baby teething

If your baby does have a temperature, you’ll need to watch out for signs of infection and you may want to give them some infant pain relief on the advice of your doctor or pharmacist.

It’s not usual for gums to bleed when infants cut their teeth but the extra saliva produced means more dribble tends to find its way down babies’ chins. This can cause an unpleasant and irritating rash, so in addition to gently dabbing the area dry you may wish to use a barrier cream or ointment to protect your little one’s delicate skin.

You can find further information on teething and other health issues affecting children in our Childrens’ Advice Centre. Alternatively, you may wish to pose a query to one of our qualified pharmacists via our Ask a Pharmacist page. If your baby appears to be experiencing any difficulty with teething or you have any concerns, we would always recommend that you speak with your GP.