Teething Pain

This is the number one concern for parents of a teething baby. Pain is the most common sign of teething and one that causes a great deal of distress for both the baby and its parents. No-one likes to see their little one in pain and it can be frustrating wondering what to do for the best. As a parent your main concern is for your baby's welfare and how to make things better for him or her. Accept that teething is inevitable and will more than likely involve some pain and discomfort but this can be dealt with. Provide lots of comfort in the form of cuddles and treats although avoid giving your brave little man/lady sweets or other sugary foods.

What causes teething pain?

Teething pain is caused by the milk teeth pushing their way through the gums. There are cells in the gums which are destroyed by chemicals released in the body which enable these teeth to break through. But these teeth put pressure on the gums as they try and break through. This causes the gums to become swollen and inflamed which then results in pain. What you may notice is that your baby stops sucking his/her bottle or pulls away from your breast as the sucking action causes him/her pain. This action forces blood into the area, in this case the gums which causes them to swell and become sensitive to the touch.Plus it is also rather painful as well. Don't force your baby to feed but remove him/her from your breast before he/she decides to try out his new teeth on your nipples. Ouch!

How painful is this for your baby?

One way of thinking about this is to imagine what it is like when your wisdom teeth are coming through which will give you a very good idea of how painful this is for your baby. The extent of the pain will depend upon your baby. Some babies have a higher pain threshold than others and can tolerate a fair amount of pain whereas others are very sensitive. The molars (back teeth) tend to cause the most pain. These chunky looking teeth are the last to arrive and because they take longer, cause more pain than any other teeth. If your baby is a little toughie then he/she will endure teething pain much easier than a more delicate child. Some babies will make much more of a fuss than others and be generally 'whiney'but that is to be expected. Just give them a few more cuddles than usual. You can also tell them about the tooth fairy although you may want to avoid mentioning that the tooth fairy is on an austerity drive due to the current economic climate.