By your child’s first birthday, you can expect their first teeth to begin to emerge, and over the course of the next 2-3 years, you’ll see all 20 primary teeth erupt from below the gumline. Teething can be an uncomfortable experience for your infant, but by knowing the signs of teething and following safe guidelines to provide relief, you can help your child feel better throughout the process. Many infants struggle with feeding and sleeping when they first begin teething, which can take a toll on both your and your child’s quality of life. As a new parent, focus on ways to promote oral health while helping your child get the rest and relief they deserve. How you feed your baby throughout the day can help alleviate the discomfort of teething, helping encourage better sleep at night and ensuring healthy development of the teeth and gums.
Go Over Gums With a Warm Cloth Before Bedtime
If your child is still bottle or breastfed and not yet eating solid foods, try feeding close to bedtime, but do not put your child to sleep with a bottle, as this can lead to baby bottle tooth decay. After feeding, rub your child’s gums and teeth with a warm, wet cloth. This not only cleanses bacteria to prevent decay, it can also soothe your child long enough that they can fall asleep without discomfort.
Getting Your Teething Child To Eat Will Help Them Sleep
The discomfort of teething can cause a reduction of appetite, and a hungry child is less likely to sleep at night. It’s important to make sure your child stays hydrated and nourished while teething. In addition to the numerous health risks associated with dehydration, it can also lead to dry mouth, which exacerbates the discomfort of teething and can lead to tooth decay over time. If your child’s lips are dry and cracked, or if they have difficulty swallowing, these signs may indicate dry mouth. To help your child stay hydrated and prevent dry mouth, try teething rings and over-the-counter pain relievers, which provide temporary relief that can help your child feel well enough to drink. If your child is nursing or bottle-fed, continuously offer the bottle or breast as often as possible. If your child is refusing to take the bottle or the breast, you can try feeding small drops of milk or formula through a syringe.
Solid Foods can Reduce Discomfort
If you’ve already introduced solid foods to your child’s diet, cold foods can provide relief from teething pain. If your toddler is experiencing a sleep regression, it may be brought on by the eruption of the 2 year molars, which are the back teeth responsible for grinding food. Giving your child healthy, bite-sized pieces of carrots, apple and cucumber can encourage them to chew on the newly emerging back teeth to provide relief, which means better sleep.
The growth and development of your child’s teeth is an important important milestone. Teething can be a long process that takes place over several years of your child’s life, and it is important to be prepared. Discuss with your child’s dentist and pediatrician the best approaches for keeping your child comfortable, nourished and well-rested while teething.