Some parents will find themselves lucky enough to have children who sail through the teething process with relatively few signs and symptoms. Most, however, will find themselves trying to comfort a teething infant who is clearly in pain. But how do you know it's teething causing those tears? There are several signs to look for.
Drooling and Rash
One of the biggest external indicators of the teething process is drooling. While it is true that babies drool for other reasons, if you notice excessive drooling, causing you to change your child's bib or clothes often throughout the day, you may want to take a look and see if teething could be the culprit. You may also notice a red rash around your child's mouth. This is caused by the constant moisture from drooling. Although this is a common sign of teething, you should always check with your child's doctor to rule out any other potential causes.
Chewing on toys and fingers is another common sign. The pressure from the object feels good, and it lets the child help the tooth work its way through the gum. Keep in mind that even though gnawing on a hard object provides relief, it may also cause some pain as well, so don't be surprised if your child is happily chewing one minute and crying the next.
Fever and Other Serious Symptoms
While a slight fever and runny stool have long been held as common signs of teething, doctors now caution against writing these symptoms off without further investigation. If your child is running a fever or is having frequent loose stools, it's a good idea to check with your pediatrician to be sure there is no other underlying illness or condition. Learn more about what is normal and is not normal for a teething baby in the Colgate Oral Care resource.
Take a Look
Looking in your child's mouth is the easiest way to see if you are dealing with a teething infant. The gums will look swollen and red and, depending on how far the teeth are pushing through, you may see some purple discoloration or white slivers of the actual tooth. If you feel the gum, you might be able to feel the sharp points of the teeth before they are clearly visible.
It can be hard to watch your child go through the discomforts of teething, but once you identify that incoming teeth are the issue, it will be easier to figure out the best way to provide your baby with relief.