At 1 year old, Eliza now has 5 teeth, and number 6 is on the way – we can just see it peeking through the gum. She hasn’t suffered too badly with teething overt the last few months, but when she was cutting her first tooth at 6 months she really felt it. We had bright red, hot cheeks and streams of dribble. She would frantically chew on anything and everything from bottle teats to toys and cot bars. She even got nappy rash, which isn’t something she had suffered from before cutting her first tooth. It wasn’t a fun time for her at all.
Having experienced the cutting of wisdom teeth as an adult, I can really sympathise with teething babies – it hurts!
A survey by Nelsons Teetha has revealed over a third of parents (39%) surveyed find teething the most distressing baby ailment. For a little one it can mean sore and tender gums, flushed cheeks and dribbling, while for parents it often means sleepless nights and a feeling of helplessness!
Once the first tooth has cut, it’s hard to know how to care for it too. I remember buying a baby toothbrush and toothpaste many months ago now, but Eliza really isn’t keen on having her teeth brushed, especially when her gums are sore where other teeth are cutting, so it’s pot luck whether we get it done or not! I guess that at this age it is as much about introducing it as part of a routine than anything else. We have also taken Eliza to the dentist with her brothers and sister – again she wouldn’t let the dentist see her teeth, but she did sit on my lap on the chair, and watch the others having a check up – it’s another learning experience for her.
So how do you look after a new tooth whilst your baby is still teething? The makers of Nelsons Teetha Teething Granules have put together top tips for tooth care:
- You can start brushing your baby’s teeth as soon as they come through. Don’t worry if you don’t manage to brush much at first, the important thing is to get your baby used to brushing their teeth as part of their daily routine.
- You can help by setting a good example and letting them see you brushing your own teeth. Not all children like having their teeth brushed, so you may have to keep trying. You could try and make it into a game. Perseverance is the key!
- Use a tiny smear of toothpaste for babies and toddlers up to age three, and a pea-sized amount for children aged three to six years.
- The easiest way to brush a baby’s teeth is to sit them on your knee with their head resting against your chest. With an older child, stand behind them and tilt their head upwards.
- Brush the teeth in small circles covering all the surfaces and let your child spit the toothpaste out afterwards. Rinsing with water has been found to reduce the benefit of fluoride.
- Gradually start brushing your child’s teeth more thoroughly, covering all the surfaces of the teeth. Do it at least twice a day: just before bed and at another time that fits in with you. Supervise brushing to make sure your child gets the right amount of toothpaste and they are not eating or licking toothpaste from the tube.
- Carry on helping your child brush their teeth until you are sure they can do it well enough themselves. This is usually from the age of about seven.
Most children have all their milk teeth by about 2 and a half years of age, so Eliza still has a while to go! To help ease her teething pain over the next year or so, we will be using Nelsons Teetha Teething Granules, a homeopathic medicinal product used for the symptomatic relief of teething pain and the symptoms associated with teething (sore and tender gums, flushed cheeks and dribbling).
Nelsons Teetha Teething Granules cost £5.57, available from Boots, Holland and Barrett, selected grocers, Lloyd’s pharmacies and all good independent health food and pharmacy stores. Always read the label. This is a collaborative post.