That first tooth is adorable, but let's be honest....teething is the worst. It's relentless. It's confusing. It's heartbreaking. But the more you know about it, the more prepared you can be. Here's pretty much everything you need to know about teething—from NYC to India—c/o Dr. Bhumika Kamal Badiyani, M.D.S., of the Public Health Dentistry based in Mumbai.
Q: First things first, what is the Teething Timeline?
A: The first tooth can appear as early as 3 months and as late as a year old. (If your child doesn't show any teeth until later than this age period, don't worry.) The front teeth will erupt first and because these are incisor teeth, they erupt rather easily. At about 1 year, the molars arrive—and they are much more painful. Next, the canines appear. Last, the final back molars break through at around age 2. Teething ordinarily ends by age 3.
Q: What's the biggest difference between teething in Mumbai vs. NYC?
A: In my Dental practice in Mumbai, I have noticed that parents here are more inclined to use organic wooden teethers made up of Neem wood, which is known for its antibacterial properties and can be easily sterilised in boiling water.
Silicone teethers are becoming a preferred choice among NYC parents and in the recent baby health care system. The primary reason is that they are made from non-toxic materials, and are completely hypoallergenic and resistant to bacteria.
Q. What's the biggest challenge with teething, no matter where you raise children?
A. You guessed it...teething pain. Some children (and parents!) get lucky and don't experience teething pain, but that's certainly an exception. Teething symptoms can occur up to three to five days before the tooth appears, and while the tooth makes its way through the gums. These symptoms include:
- Sucking and biting.
- Rash around the mouth due to drooling.
- Swollen, red and sore gums.
- Waking frequently at night.
- Rubbing the ears.
- Lack of appetite.
Vomiting, diarrhea and fevers above 102 degrees Fahrenheit are not symptoms of teething and warrant an immediate visit to your pediatrician to determine a cause.
Q. Are there any teething remedies that have been passed down for generations in India? In the US, it's rubbing whiskey on baby's gums.
A. In India some of the teething remedies that have been passed down for generations are:
- Using Ground Cloves: Cloves contain oils that have warming, numbing properties. Mix ground cloves are mixed with water or coconut oil, or unsalted butter, and chill in the fridge to make a paste that can be rubbed on the gums. Clove essential oil works great too in minimal quantities.
- Giving a Warm Bath: The warm water in the bath will help your baby to relax their body and provides a welcome distraction from the constant discomfort.
- Using Liquorice Root: Liquorice Root is an herb that can usually be found in natural food stores. It has a sweet taste, and naturally numbs the gums while your baby chews.
Q. What are your top 3 teething tips for moms across the globe?
A. If your child is feeling teething pain, there are many home remedies and products you can try to relieve these symptoms and soothe their aching gums. These include:
- Gum massage: Making sure your fingers are clean, gently rub the sore areas of your baby's gums. This counter-pressure can give them some temporary relief. Baby will also grow accustomed to parents cleaning their mouth and having his/her gums massaged.
- Teething toys: Soft silicone /rubber/wooden teether toys are safe for your baby to chew on and can soothe their gums.
- Cold washcloth/fruit/vegetable stick: Chill a damp, clean washcloth in the fridge and allow your child to gnaw on it. This can relieve some of the pressure and swelling. You can also give a chilled piece of cucumber stick to chew upon.
Q. What should you NOT do when your baby is teething?
- Teething necklaces and bracelets have become a popular remedy for easing teething pain, but the scientific claims of these products have not been substantiated. They can also be a choking and strangulation hazard, so teething necklaces should never be used without supervision.
- Avoid frozen teething rings. While liquid-filled teething rings and water-filled rings are not typically hazardous, a frozen teething ring could burn your child’s gums if held against the gum tissue too long.
- If you love using wooden teethers, make sure to use only products made from organic wood. No additives, chemicals or dyes are should be added during the making of these rings.
Q. What are your favourite teething essentials from Doddle & Co? ;)
A. I absolutely adore all Doddle & Co products for their ease of use, functionality, and design. The “pop” technology and playful textures are precious for baby hands. My favourite is the “Social Butterfly” because my niece (pictured below) loved it. She has been using the teether since she was 4 months old and she loves it to date. It has a pretty colour and is great to hold on to and gnaw.
Thanks Dr. Bhumika Kamal Badiyani!