It can be quite exciting when your baby receives their very first tooth, but unfortunately, teething can cause quite a bit of pain. What makes it harder still is that the teething stage can take a long time to complete, as your child will be getting new teeth for several years to come. The process varies from child to child, and each has slightly different pain thresholds. Sometimes it can be difficult to determine if a kid waking up during the night is due to teething or is because of something completely different.

Teething in toddlers is similar to teething in babies. Some kids will experience minimal discomfort, while for others the entire process will hurt much more. At least by the time your child gets to this age, they will be able to communicate with you and are more likely to tell you where it hurts. However, when a child is upset and tired, they may express themselves by crying strenuously or even throwing a tantrum. There are some signs to look out for that can tell you if your kid is teething.

Signs Your Toddler May Be About to Get a Brand-New Tooth
Just like babies, very young children will usually want something to chew when they have a tooth trying to push through their gums. You might notice they have begun to chew their fingers or toys. Another indication that a tooth is about to make an appearance is if a kid rubs their ear quite frequently on the side the tooth is coming through, but it’s important to keep an eye on this sign because it could also indicate an ear infection.

Your child who previously slept angelically through the whole night may turn into a poor sleeper, but at least if it’s due to their teeth then you know it’s temporary! You can often tell when a tooth is trying to come through because your kid’s gums may look swollen or red where the tooth is trying to erupt.

Other possible symptoms include a change in eating habits, increased irritability or a slight increase in their temperature. However, if your toddler looks like they have flu or has diarrhea or is vomiting, then be aware these are not signs of teething, and they may need to see their pediatrician.

If you already have an older child, then you’ll be all too aware of how the entire teething process goes on. A child may begin to get their first tooth through as early as six months, and the process can continue until age 3.

Home Remedies That Might Help
There are some home remedies that might help your child feel more comfortable. However, you should avoid any home remedies that include alcohol, or which advise putting aspirin on their gums because these will do far more harm than good. Some children find chewing on a cool washcloth or a chilled, soft teething ring will help with daytime pain. Another option is to provide them with cold, sliced bananas or try to distract them with an activity or even a change of scenery.

At bedtime, your kid might find it soothing if you massage their gums using a warm, soft cloth. If you want to give them over-the-counter pain relievers, then check with your pediatrician or pediatric dentist to make sure you give them the right dose and the right type of medication. Generally, it’s advised that you don’t give children pain relievers such as acetaminophen any more than five times a day, every 4 to 6 hours.

Make Sure You Continue with Their Oral Care
Although it can be tricky when your child is in pain or discomfort, it’s still important to keep gently brushing their teeth while they are teething. Because the teething period is quite lengthy, you cannot afford to ignore their regular oral care routine, and in the longer term, it will do far more harm than good.

Use a suitable child-sized toothbrush with extra soft bristles and the type of toothpaste recommended by your child’s pediatric dentist. By continuing with their oral care, you can help ensure that their brand-new teeth remain healthy and strong and cavity-free. Otherwise, if they don’t have their teeth brushed regularly, then there is a real risk of tooth decay and infection which can be extremely painful for anyone, and especially for a very young child.

If you do need any help or advice on how to brush your child’s teeth causing minimum stress to you both, then ask your dentist for a practical demonstration. Pediatric dentists are great at educating children and adults and can show you ways to brush your child’s teeth making it more fun and enjoyable for them.

Haven’t Seen a Pediatric Dentist Yet?
It’s a common question asked by new parents as to when their child should first see a dentist. The answer is by age 1 or soon after they get their very first tooth. If your child is a toddler and has yet to see a dentist, then make sure you book their first visit as soon as you can. That very first dental appointment is essential and will help set your child on the path to enjoying a lifetime of good dental health. It’s a very common misconception that those baby teeth aren’t important, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Your kid’s baby teeth do far more than just give them a cute smile. They let your child eat a greater variety of nutritious and more exciting foods which helps with their growth and development. It’s much easier to learn to clearly speak when you have teeth, expanding your child’s communication skills. Baby teeth also help their adult teeth, and nature has designed them to stay in place until the adult teeth are ready to push them out of the way.

If your child has extensive tooth decay or bad tooth infections, then their baby teeth will need to be extracted too soon, leaving behind a gap that was meant for the adult tooth. Because the adult tooth isn’t yet ready to come through, your kids existing baby teeth or other adult teeth will begin to drift towards the gap, affecting their bite and making the need for orthodontics more likely.

Looking after these baby teeth will let your kids grow up without any of these problems, and before you know it, their adult teeth will be ready to push through.

Author's Bio: 

I am Amelia Grant, journalist, and blogger. I think that information is a great force that is able to change people’s lives for the better. That is why I feel a strong intention to share useful and important things about health self-care, wellness and other advice that may be helpful for people. Being an enthusiast of a healthy lifestyle that keeps improving my life, I wish the same for everyone.

Our attention to ourselves, to our daily routine and habits, is very important. Things that may seem insignificant, are pieces of a big puzzle called life. I want to encourage people to be more attentive to their well-being, improve every little item of it and become healthier, happier, stronger. All of us deserve that. And I really hope that my work helps to make the world better.