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What Are the Symptoms of Teething?

Christine DiMaria

The symptoms of teething are often unpleasant for your little one. If you're a first-time parent, you might be a bit concerned by what your tot is experiencing. Certain symptoms are common, and there are ways for you to ease your child's discomfort.

Drooling

It's perfectly normal for your child to drool excessively while teething. Make sure you wipe his mouth regularly to avoid irritation or a rash. You should wear machine-washable clothing for a few days because your child's drool will make its way onto what you are wearing.

Irritability

When a sharp tooth is poking through your child's gums, it may cause him to be a bit out of sorts and cranky. Don't be surprised if your youngster cries more or plays less than usual and becomes angry over little things or for no apparent reason. According to KidsHealth by Nemours, some irritability is normal.

Chewing on Hard Objects

Your child may feel the need to gnaw on toys and other hard objects in an attempt to relieve the pain. Make sure you keep anything with sharp edges or small parts out of your child's reach, especially while he is teething. To prevent your child from putting unsanitary items in his mouth, offer teething rings, chilled vegetables, a wet washcloth and teething snacks, such as teething biscuits. He might put his fingers in his mouth more often, so make sure you wash his hands frequently.

Changes in Appetite

Don't fret if your child isn't eating as much as he normally does. Even if he is still nursing or taking a bottle, when his mouth is in pain, he may feel too much discomfort to eat. Your child shouldn't go an entire day without eating, though. Keep your child hydrated. If your little one skips multiple feedings, contact your pediatrician. Additionally, he may not eat the foods he usually loves because they cause pain in his gums. If your child is already eating solids, try offering soft foods, such as yogurt, that don't require chewing.

Restlessness and Changes in Sleep Patterns

Your tot may become restless. A change in his normal sleep patterns is a possibility as well. This means he may not nap for the customary length of time. He may not sleep straight through the night or for long periods of time. You can ask your physician about giving your little one pain relievers to reduce the discomfort so he can sleep better.

Fever

Nemours states that, while teething might cause a slight rise in your child's temperature, fever is not one of the typical symptoms of teething. You should contact your on-call pediatrician if your child develops a fever because it could be a sign of something else.

Diarrhea is also not a symptom of teething. It's normal for a baby to have loose stool while cutting teeth, but diarrhea is generally a symptom of another condition, such as a virus. In fact, your child is more likely to contract a virus during teething due to the susceptibility that the stress of teething causes the body.

Before your child's first tooth emerges, you should start taking care of his mouth. Use a wet gauze pad or cool, moist washcloth to clean the gums. Once the first tooth has erupted, start using a soft-bristled toothbrush with a child-friendly product, such as My First Colgate Infant and Toddler Toothpaste.

Learn more about teething in the Colgate Oral Care resources.

Source: Flickr/Amanda Curtis

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