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We all adore the super cute newborn gummy smile, but before you know it, the dreadful teething stage has begun and soon after you will often notice a speck of white popping through the gum. Congratulations, your bub has reached a new milestone with their first tooth! A lot is going on in their little mouth and it will feel weird, different and uncomfortable. While these symptoms are manageable and usually short-lived, it can be a difficult time for both baby and their parents, but knowing how to help soothe your little one through the discomfort, will make the process easier.
We asked our friends at Grin Natural to share their top tips on all things teething and oral care for our little ones. With a team of experts behind them and a strong mission to revolutionise oral care - they have given some great advice!
What is teething?
Teething is when your baby’s tooth begins to erupt from the gum. For some babies, teething can begin as early as 4 months of age or as late as one year, and typically ends when the last set of molars come in, around their third birthday. You can expect to see the bottom front two teeth make an appearance first.
It is common to notice teething signs and symptoms before you see these little teeth make their appearance. Here are some helpful tips on what to look out for and how to naturally help your baby while teething.
What are the symptoms?
- Excessive Drooling - Now is a good time to stock up on bibs! During the teething process, saliva is stimulated and you’ll likely notice your laundry filling up with more damp clothes than usual. You may even notice your child’s skin around their mouth or neck becoming slightly irritated from saliva. Try keeping areas of drool clean and dry and change bibs often. This will help reduce the chance of a rash. If you notice their skin becomes dry or chapped, you can use a moisturising cream to assist with healing.
- Irritability and Fussiness- You may notice more crying in your home and a tougher time falling or staying asleep. You may consider giving your child, infant or children's over-the-counter pain medications if they are extremely uncomfortable. Be sure to check medication labels for dosing based on their age and weight. It is not recommended for babies under 6 months of age to have ibuprofen.
- Chewing on things - You may find your little one putting things in their mouth to chew or bite on more than usual. Chewing and gnawing help soothe their gums from the pressure of newly erupting teeth. This is also a wonderful time to introduce some gentle brushing, with the Grin Natural Silicone Finger Brush. This safe, effective brush is double-sided to massage those sensitive and often itchy little gums. Simply pop on a small amount of natural, fluoride-free toothpaste (for this age) such as Grin Natural’s delicious strawberry or orange one and get started. Grin also includes organic Calendula oil in their toothpaste, which contains potent antimicrobial and antioxidant compounds that are effective in killing harmful, cavity-causing bacteria. The anti-inflammatory properties of calendula oil also make it gentle and soothing on developing teeth and gums.
- Slight Increase in Temperature - It is important to know the difference between a slight increase in temperature and fever. If your child’s temperature ranges between 36.6-37.7 degrees, it could be associated with teething, although, If their temperature rises above 38 degrees celsius consider contacting your paediatrician (The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne 2021).
- Loss of Appetite - According to Raising Children Australia, your child may lose some of their appetite during the teething phase. If you notice a significant change in their diet, contact your pediatrician to ensure your child does not become dehydrated.
How can you ease teething pains?
- Massage their gums - Use a clean finger and rub your baby’s gums with gentle pressure. Your baby may want to chew on your finger as well which is perfectly fine. You can also use the Baby Silicone Finger Brush to massage their gums.
- Frozen washcloth - Take a damp washcloth and tie it up and put it in the freezer. After a few hours, you can give it to your baby to chew on. It’s super gentle and soothing.
Pacifiers and Teethers - Place your baby’s pacifiers and teethers in the refrigerator (not freezer) to get them super cold. The cold effects of the pacifiers and teethers will be soothing. Choose teethers that are made of food-grade silicone and rubber because they are safe, durable, and flexible for your baby to chew on.
Do not freeze teethers as they can become too hard and could cause damage to their teeth or gums. When looking for teething rings, stay clear from plastic or liquid-filled items because they may break and could harm your child. Always do a quick check to make sure that your baby’s pacifiers and teethers are intact so small parts won’t break off causing a choking hazard.
- Smoothies and Frozen Foods - Once your baby has begun their solids journey, you can offer frozen fruit in a mesh baby feeder for your baby to gnaw on and enjoy the cold fruit juice. This will also help your baby learn how to chew and taste new flavours! If your baby isn’t eating solids yet, you can make mini popsicles with frozen breastmilk.
- Maintain your routine - Try to keep your daily routine as consistent as possible. Routines help babies feel comfortable and secure in knowing that although many changes are going on in their mouths, they know what to expect throughout the day.
As a bonus tip, give your baby more hugs and kisses! Your baby will need you more than ever so give them all the rocking, soothing, and cuddles that they need!
Your child’s gums and teeth may be sore and sensitive, but it’s still really important to take care of their oral health during this time. Continue to wipe their gums with a damp washcloth, and brush their teeth two times a day because once their teeth break through, they will be vulnerable to cavities. Grin Natural’s Kids Berry-licious Toothpaste has fluoride to help protect little teeth, perfect to use once they have the practice of brushing and spitting down pat! Once two teeth are touching each other, you can start flossing. Grin Natural Kids Biodegradable Flossers makes flossing easy and fun. These eco-friendly flossers make flossing enjoyable for everyone. The Australian Dental Association recommends a child’s first dental visit is once their first tooth erupts or by their first birthday, whichever comes first.
You can try Grin Natural, with your very own discount code! Simply use Subo for 10% off at checkout.