I’m going to start today’s post by clearly stating that I am NOT a dentist nor am I an MD. I am a Doctor of Occupational Therapy, a Master of Clinical Psychology, a mother, an aunt and an individual. That being said…let’s talk about TEETHING!
It’s a dreaded topic for most parents. It happens to every child, every parent must experience the agony of not being able to initially decipher what is wrong with their once very happy child, and every doctor/dentist will tell you based on their education and evidence based science that there are truths and there are myths surrounding this phenomenon.
I first experienced teething with oldest niece (who is now 13). That girl drooled like there was no tomorrow. We definitely knew that she was beginning the teething stage because she shoved everything and anything in her mouth, we had to change her clothes at least three times a day due to the drooling that was occurring and she was beyond irritable.
My second niece (who is now 11) did NONE of the above. She was a child that had her own unique issues from birth dealing with weight gain and feeding. So most of our efforts were focused on that. She was always irritable, rarely slept more than 45 minutes at a time and never seemed comfortable with anything in or near her mouth. One day around four months (early I may add), she opened her mouth and we saw two teeth. It was pretty remarkable. She didn’t drool, she didn’t complain…the teeth just appeared.
Then I had my daughter. She seemed to be teething for a good two months before her first two teeth actually erupted at eight months. She didn’t drool that much, but everything…and I mean EVERYTHING went in her mouth. And I found it interesting that she wasn’t teething/gnawing on objects in the front of her mouth where the teeth were coming in. Rather she was pushing these objects toward her back molars…with every tooth she was teething, she shoved her teething toys to the back of her mouth.
So why all of these stories? Because, just like no two children are alike, no teething experience is alike. Every child will experience it their own way. Some will cry, some will just erupt teeth and not make a peep. Some will produce a low grade fever (even though doctors say that this is NOT associated with teething…), some will get a nasty diaper rash (again…doctors say this is NOT associated with teething).
Below are some of the teething tools that I used with my daughter. She seemed to enjoy them and they appeared to help ease her pain and discomfort. I’m going to mention again that I have no association with any of the following products, nor do I feel you must purchase them.
Baby Banana ® – not only is this item great because your child can hold on to it and place it anywhere in their mouth they feel they need the relief, but it’s also a toothbrush, so it introduces your child to the idea of bristles and having that sensation placed along their teeth and gums.
Comotomo Teether – this item is made with hygienic silicon and mimics little fingers. It also has a great round base that allows for easy grasp for your child’s tiny hands.
Nuby Teethe-eez™ Soft Silicone Teether – this item is also made with silicone and has multi-textured surfaces. There are soft bristles which help massage your child’s gums while also cleaning them J.
RaZ-Berry Red Teether by RaZbaby ® – this item is made with medical grade silicone and actually looks like a pacifier but it has little bumps all over the center portion which gently massage and cool your baby’s gums. It too is multi-textured which aids in soothing your child’s teeth.
Bottom line, teething is hard. It’s hard on your baby and it’s hard on you. If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably scanned the internet already looking for any tips and tools from medical professionals that will help ease your child through this process. It’s sometimes hard to read through information online provided by doctors and dentists because it seems like they state the facts, are practical about the information, but have never really experienced it themselves. Life is not black or white. There is no right way or wrong way to experience teething. Your child will have their own unique experience, and you, as their parent, will help guide them through this process in a way that works for both your child and your family. As long as you are not harming your child, do what you feel is best.