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Orajel

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Teething Baby Pictures
©Sokolova Maryna/Shutterstock.com

One of the most frequently read articles on Oral Answers over the past year is an article that I wrote back in January called What A Baby’s Gums Look Like While Teething.

Teething BabyThat article only showed pictures of the two lower teeth coming in.  I figured that it would also be helpful to show what the upper two teeth look like while coming in.

Also, since all babies are different, I figured it might be helpful to see pictures of a different teething baby.

Melissa, an avid photographer, did an excellent job of documenting her son’s teething experience.

Her son Logan is now four years old and has all of his baby teeth.  Melissa generously allowed me to use her photos in this article to show what his teeth looked like as they came through his gums and how he made it through the teething stage.

How A Baby’s Teeth Look As They Cut Through The Gums

Here’s a picture of Logan’s two upper front teeth as they came poking through the gums:Teething Teeth Poking Through Gums

Here’s a slightly different angle of the same picture:

Teething: Teeth Cutting Through Gums

Here’s a photo of Logan 8 days after the two above pictures were taken:

Teething Teeth Through Gums

Melissa says that Logan’s teething lasted about one week per set of teeth that came in (teeth usually come into the mouth in pairs.)

How to Help Your Baby Survive Teething

There are many things that you can do to help your baby survive the teething process — I don’t mean survive literally, as modern science has shown that babies don’t die from teething!

Melissa states the following about how she helped Logan make it through his difficult teething experience:

“Since he did have one set come in right after another, it was hard to tell when he wasn’t teething minus the spike of a fever right before his teeth would come in. We constantly kept a bib on him to help soak up the drool. He had eczema and the drool made it worse, so I used a clear diaper rash ointment down his chin, neck and chest to protect that area and treat and prevent the rash from getting worse. Logan liked small, plastic, water filled teething rings that you put in the refrigerator. He also liked cold, wet wash cloths to chew on. Apples helped for some of his teeth, but he didn’t like them every time. We tried Orajel, but he didn’t really like it that much. It did seem to help when he would let us get it in there.

Hyland's Teething TabletsMostly, he liked chewing on our fingers. It could hurt us, but at a certain point you will do anything to give your little one some relief. Baby Tylenol for the fevers and night time pain helped once in a while, but if you have a baby who is constantly teething, like Logan, you can’t exactly keep them hopped up on Tylenol. Hyland’s has a teething pill that is natural that really helped Logan and I highly recommend. I also nursed Logan until he was 12 months old, and I think that helped. He never bit me, but it seemed to sooth him somehow.”

Here’s a link to the Hyland’s Teething Tablets that Melissa mentioned.  They seem to have pretty good reviews on Amazon – I wish I’d known about them with our first child!

Here’s a few photos that show Logan easing his teething pain with plastic teething rings, a toy he ripped off his bouncer, and an apple:

Teething Habits

Just as a comparison, here’s two photos that show Logan teething as a baby, then again as a toddler.  It seems like he didn’t mind it as much once he got a little big older.

Teething as a Baby and Toddler

You and Your Baby Will Make It Through Teething

I remember when our oldest son was teething for the first time, my wife and I had no idea what to do.  He was extremely irritable.  At the time, I was going to school full time and my wife was working full time.  We were both exhausted and I vividly remember one night we were both up with our son and my wife ran out to go get some Orajel (which we’ve since learned more about).

Those days are far behind us and we now have a couple of kids with full sets of teeth.  In retrospect, teething was just one small part of their infancy.  Although it was uncomfortable for them at the time, it really is just a distant memory now.

Near the end of her email to me, Melissa said:

“Time has a way of making you forget some of the little parts of their childhood.

Teething will be over before you know it, and you and your baby will both make it through just fine!

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about teething, feel free to leave a comment below.  Thanks for reading!

Teething Biscuits Natural Teething Remedy
©Dave Clark Digital Photo/Shutterstock.com

Many parents are looking for a way to help soothe their teething baby that doesn’t involve smearing a numbing gel such as Orajel on their gums.  Teething biscuits are just one of many alternatives and have been around for quite some time.

Does Your Teething Baby Need Teething Biscuits?

Baby Teething BiscuitThe short answer to this question is no.  Your baby does not need teething biscuits.  Certain babies may not be ready for solid foods such as teething biscuits.  As a parent, you know your baby better than anyone else and can probably make the best decision as to whether or not teething biscuits are right for your child.  Here are a few advantages to teething biscuits:

1 – Teething biscuits can soothe your baby’s gums and satisfy the urge that your child has to bite during teething (one of the 10 symptoms of a teething baby)

2 – Teething biscuits help your child learn to feed him or herself.

3 – Teething biscuits can provide valuable nutrition to your child that may be difficult to obtain while the child is teething.

My wife and I gave teething biscuits to our daughter during her teething episodes.  We found that some of them made a mess, but overall they helped ease our daughter’s teething troubles.

Where to Buy Teething Biscuits

Baby Mum Mum Rice Rusks Teething BiscuitsYou can find teething biscuits at pretty much any grocery store or at an online retailer such as Amazon.  A few popular types to consider are:

Make Your Own Teething Biscuits

If you’d rather not pay retail prices, it may be cheaper to make your own teething biscuits at home, not to mention that you’ll know exactly what you are feeding your baby.

WholesomeBabyFood.com has this page with some good teething biscuit recipes and it tells you what ingredients are safe to use for your baby.

Conclusion

Teething biscuits certainly aren’t the only natural way to help your teething baby.  In my next teething article I’ll go into detail about the many other natural ways to help pacify your teething child.

I also want to add a caution that any solid objects near your child’s mouth do pose a choking risk so you should always supervise them if you decide to give them teething biscuits.

Have you ever given teething biscuits to your teething child?  Do you have any questions, comments, or stories to share about teething?  I’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments section below.  Thanks for reading!

Does Teething Cause a Fever in Teething Babies?
©Sokolova Maryna/Shutterstock.com

There are so many symptoms that are attributed to teething that many parents think that they’re child is almost always teething!  Traditionally, “academic research” has found that teething doesn’t really cause a fever, while many parents and caregivers that are actually taking care of teething babies report that they definitely do get fevers during teething.

Where does the truth lie?  Do teething babies really get fevers?  I decided to find out.

Does Teething Cause a Fever?

Does Teething Cause a Fever?This is a tricky question and in order to answer it, we need to define exactly what a fever is.  If we define a fever as a temperature above 102º, then the answer is usually pretty clear that teething does not cause a major fever over 102 degrees.

But, when we define a fever as a smaller temperature rise, say a temperature of 100º for example, the answer is not so clear-cut.

A study that appeared in the journal Pediatrics followed 494 different tooth eruptions.  They found that “mild temperature elevation” was associated with teething, but a high fever of 102º degrees and above was not associated with teething.

Another study followed 46 healthy infants while they were teething.  20 of them had a fever within a few days of cutting their first tooth while only 7 of them had a fever a couple of weeks before their first tooth poked through their gums.  Although it would appear from these results that teething is associated with a fever, they had some cautionary advice:

From the data presented here it would seem that the ‘granny’s tale’ that infants cut their teeth with fever is supported. We would like to stress the danger in attributing fever to teething without ruling out other pathology. Children are teething from about 6 months to 6 years and therefore can easily be found to be teething when ill from other causes. Only the eruption of the first tooth is a clear landmark and so this study limited itself to the period before its emergence. We are intrigued by our finding and have no explanation to offer at this stage for the observation.

We were taught as students to listen to parents; grandma seems also to have had something to tell us.

From the two studies above, it may appear that teething does cause a mild fever in some children.

The last study I would like to share followed 90 different tooth eruptions. They analyzed the data in many different ways, but in the end they couldn’t find an association between fevers and teething:

A possible association between teething and fever was investigated in several ways…A graph of mean z score temperatures for the 28 days either side of an eruption day showed no trends toward raised or rising temperature near eruption days. Two separate logistic regression analyses adjusting for age were performed to examine possible associations between toothday status and fever. In the first, high fever was compared with no fever, whereas in the second low fever score was compared with no fever.  Neither analysis indicated a relationship between tooth eruption and fever.

The last study failed to find any association between fevers and teething.

Conclusion – Does Teething Cause Fevers?

The few studies that we do have on this subject give us mixed answers.  There are a few things that we can say for sure:

1 – Children get lots of fevers.  It could be that the fevers that they get around the time that they are teething are simply by coincidence.

2 – If your child is sick while teething, don’t just assume that it is due to the teething.  It’s always best to get a definitive answer from a doctor.

3 – Teething doesn’t cause fevers, but some teething babies may experience a slight rise in temperature around the time when they are teething.

I hope that answers some of your questions about teething and fevers.  If you have any questions, comments, or teething stories to share, feel free to leave them below in the comments section.  Thanks for reading!

21
How Long Does Teething Last?
©Olga Vladimirova/Shutterstock.com

If you’ve had a child, then you probably know how teething affects kids — and parents!

When it comes to teething, many parents want to know at what age teething starts and how long it will last.  While I can’t give you an exact answer as to when your child will start teething and for how long, I can point out some general guidelines.

The Age When Babies Start Teething

The average baby’s first tooth pokes through their gums right around the age of six to ten months.  Since all baby’s get their first tooth at a different age, it may help to give a general outline of when to expect all 20 of your baby’s teeth.  I mostly used the data from the ADA’s Primary Tooth Eruption Chart (PDF) and have put the average age in months when each event occurs (shown in parentheses) below as well.

Around  4 to 10 months your baby will get their first teeth, the lower front two teeth, the lower central incisors.  (~8 months)

Two months later the two upper front teeth (central incisors) will come into your baby’s mouth. (~10 months)

One month later, the upper lateral incisors will come in. (~11 months)

Two months later, the lower lateral incisors will come in. (~13 months)

Three months later, your baby’s first molars will come in on the top and on the bottom. (~16 months)

Three months after that, your baby will get the upper canine teeth. (~19 months)

One month later, your baby will get the lower canine teeth. (20 months)

Seven months later, your baby will get their lower second molars. (27 months)

Two months later, your baby will complete their baby teeth by getting their upper second molars. (29 months)

Age Babies Start Teething

As you can see, your baby will constantly be getting new teeth over the course of about two years.  It’s important to understand that while your child will keep getting new teeth during this time, they won’t be teething the entire time.  Teething refers to the process by which a tooth erupts through the gums into the mouth.  This process can include some pain and discomfort, usually during the period of time before you actually see the tooth emerge from the gum.

Now that you know when to expect all 20 of your baby’s teeth, let’s discuss teething in greater detail.

How Long Does Teething Last?

In the late 1990’s, a survey was sent out to many parents asking them about various aspects of their children’s teething habits.  One question that I noticed in particular asked the parents how long their babies had teething symptoms for each tooth that came into their mouth.  Aside from a few parents that said their children didn’t experience any teething symptoms (I wish I could say that!), here’s what the rest had to say about how long teething lasted for their kids:

How Long Does Teething Last?

As you can see, the results are all over the place.

If you do a quick search on the internet, you come up with many interesting stories, some of which claim that teething takes over 6 months!  Take a quick look at the following comment that user chrellis_26 said on the BabyCenter website:

“My son started the teething process at about three and a half months, he was ten months old when he finally got one tooth. Lately, now at fifteen months, it can take days or weeks of irritable behavior before a tooth comes in.”

I think the reason that there are so many differing opinions on this issue is because many people attribute fevers and other unexplained irritable behavior to teething.  For example, some people believe that teething can cause a high fever and diarrhea – both of which are teething myths (stay tuned for a teething myths article in the future!)

The real process of teething can cause some inflammation in the gum tissue as the tooth pokes through.  Personally, I believe that teething would normally last from about 1-7 days per tooth.  Several months of teething pain seems a bit far-fetched.  The only authoritative quote I could find on this subject comes from the book Paediatric Dentistry, edited by Richard Welbury.  It states:

“Inflammation of the gingival tissues before complete emergence of the crown may cause a temporary painful condition that subsides within a few days.”

Sometimes babies can get multiple teeth at the same time, so it may seem like teething is taking forever, especially when you’re waking up at all hours of the night to comfort your little bundle of teething joy.

Conclusion

To sum it up, teething will be occurring over and over from a week or so before your baby gets their first tooth and until a week or so before your child gets their last baby tooth — right around the age of 2 ½.

Do you have any questions about teething or any experiences to share?  I’d love to hear about them in the comments section below.  Thanks for reading!