This post is sponsored by Orajel, but the opinions are my 100% my own.
I don’t care what the medical professionals say, there are certain very common signs that your baby is teething, including loose stools, a very mild fever, a runny nose, and irritability in addition to soft gums with a white tooth slightly visible underneath the gums. Sometimes they are extra sleepy or conversely extra restless.
It almost never fails that my husband and I will be frustrated with our child for a day or two, wondering why they are so crabby, only to check their mouth a day later and discover a new tooth and then exclaim “Oooooh.” Why, at four kids, we still fail to remember the tell-tale signs of teething, I do not know, but we do.However, we don’t buy into the notion that a baby that is slobbery and drooling is teething, or a baby chewing on things must be teething.
Babies just drool! Babies just chew on everything!
Our babies usually see an increase in saliva at 3 or 4 months, a good 4-6 months before they get their first tooth. And they always put things into their mouths. My daughters continued to chew on anything and everything for a good three or four years. I do not agree that drooling and chewing are signs of teething.
When we are on top of the parenting game and recognize the (true) signs of teething before a tooth pops out, we can help them out with some teething remedies and products from Orajel.
I am excited to be partnering up with Orajel this year (so be on the lookout every other month for posts on teething and oral care for kids) as a Smilehood Ambassador. As someone who has slightly sensitive, crooked, chipped, and yellow teeth, with lots of fillings, I am trying to be proactive with my kids’ teeth in preventing cavities and oral problems for them.
I don’t know if my kids have inherited my family’s poor oral health, or if they have inherited my husband’s beautifully perfect and healthy teeth. My husband, who will be 36 this year, has never had braces (because he doesn’t need them) and never had a cavity. Really. I am totally jealous.
How to Help a Teething Baby
My kids aren’t super terrible when it comes to teething, thankfully. But, here’s how I like to help:
Follow Their Lead. If baby’s appetite is less (which is likely because their mouth hurts), don’t force them to eat more. If they want to be held more, just hold them. If they like chomping on a baby-safe thing, let them chomp away. If they want to take an extra nap, let them. If they want to nurse slightly longer or for comfort, let them.
Manage the discomfort: You can use some simple baby teething products, like Baby Orajel’s Naturals Teething Gel and Naturals Teething Tablets, which are homeopathic formulas that offers pain relief for your baby. You may also want to let them suck on a piece of ice or frozen pureed food in a Fresh Food Feeder.
Distract and Comfort. I find that a change of environments can stop fussiness. Take your baby for a walk. Wear them in a baby carrier. Put them in a swing. Make extra silly faces. Swaddle her.
And be patient with them, parents! It should only really last a few days, remember that.
Better Oral Care from the Beginning
To help with our kids’ oral health, we don’t give our babies bottles at bedtime. My parents always did with me and my siblings, which I am pretty sure negatively attributed to our teeth (or so research seems to suggest). It is fairly easy for us not to do this because I breastfeed, and my youngest and second youngest never really took a bottle anyway. My twins did take bottles (we supplemented sometimes), but we didn’t give them a bottle at bed time. We’ve also make the switch to a sippy cup as soon as possible, and from a sippy to a regular cup early too.
Six year in, and thankfully none of our kids have had any cavities!
We’ve make sure to help our children brush their teeth at an early age, often letting our baby chomp on a toothbrush. We also have five tips for getting kids to brush their teeth without a fight.
How have you managed the teething phase with your babies and set up a good foundation?