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Teething Grandchildren?


posted November 5th 2018

Dr Lin Day, baby development expert and Founder of Baby Sensory, shares some useful top tips for us grandparents.

As we know, teething can be an uncomfortable stage in our grandchild’s development and growth but there are lots of things you can do to help relieve pain and soreness and it also helps to recognise and understand the different symptoms associated with the teething process.

Why does my grandchild dribble or drool?
Babies usually dribble or drool because their swallowing reflex and tongue movements are immature. Some people believe that dribbling and drooling indicates that babies have started teething. However, the only sure sign is when the emerging teeth can be seen or felt through the gums.

Is chewing a sign of teething?
Babies chew with their gums before they have teeth, but when they start to cut their molar teeth between 10 and 16 months of age, true chewing begins. Before then your grandchild will chew on just about anything before the first teeth start to emerge.

strong>What are the symptoms of teething?
The gums may appear red and swollen before the emergence of the first tooth. Temporarily pain generally subsides after a few days. Waking up more frequently at night, daytime restlessness, an increase in finger sucking, ear pulling, drooling, irritability, flushed cheeks and sometimes
appetite loss may accompany teething. However, these symptoms may also indicate a growth spurt or a bacterial infection, which can occur through the use of teething rings and other things that babies chew on. If your grandchild has a temperature, seek advice from your GP.

Which teeth appear first?
Tooth buds develop before birth. In fact, some babies may have a tooth at birth or as early as three months. Generally, the first tooth appears
between six and eight months of age. Premature babies may start teething later than full-term babies. Evidence suggests that heredity plays a part in teething process. If you were an early or late teether, then your baby could be too. Teeth generally appear in a certain order. They also tend to make their appearance in pairs (usually one soon after the other), with the bottom two central incisors generally arriving before the upper pair. However, some babies may not have their first tooth until they are one-year-old. The first four molars can arrive at any time between 12 – 16 months.

How can I ease my grandchild’s teething discomfort?
A clean plastic teething ring that has been chilled in the refrigerator can help to relieve discomfort. However, a teething ring that has been frozen could damage a baby’s gums if it becomes very hard or cold. When your baby grandchild is six months or older, a cool drink of water can
help to soothe sore gums. A wet flannel placed on your grandchild’s cheeks can also provide comfort and relief from teething. A gentle gum massage with your index finger or a soft baby toothbrush can provide some relief but should be discontinued if your grandchild isn’t enjoying it. A noisy or musical toy can offer a distraction from the discomfort of teething. Chewing on very small pieces of soft fruit can also ease teething discomfort. Your baby grandchild should be sitting upright when eating and fully supervised. Hard foods should be avoided under the age of six months because babies are unable to swallow properly.​ Babies need extra reassurance and plenty of cuddles when they are teething.

How can I help to look after my grandchild’s teeth?
A soft baby toothbrush can help to keep your grandchild’s gums healthy and her teeth clean. Fluoride can help prevent tooth decay, but it is
important to give the right amount. Too much can damage your baby grandchild’s developing teeth. Check with your dentist first.

Regularly clean teething rings, toys or anything else that your baby chews on to prevent the growth of germs. Use a mild antiseptic solution or hot water and detergent, and rinse items thoroughly before giving them back to your grandchild. Carefully inspect toys every time you give them to your grandchild. If chewing marks are present, check that the toy is not weak or loose. If your grandchild likes to bite, avoid squeaky toys that could become dangerous if damaged.

The emergence of your grandchild’s first tooth is a cause for celebration. Most of us grandparents cannot get enough of those toothy smiles or
photographs to share with friends and family! In a few short years, you will be celebrating the arrival of the Tooth Fairy!

About WOW World Group (
WOW World Group provides a diverse, exciting range of parent/grandparents and child activity-based class experiences across the UK and overseas. Spanning seven different programmes, its adult classes are designed to equip parents with a variety of useful skills from first aid to preparing for life with a new baby. While the children’s fun-filled classes are designed to enhance early years learning and development while allowing parents and grandparents to spend quality time with their child/children in a safe and established, nurturing environment led by qualified, knowledgeable class leaders. ​

WOW World Group is a founding member of the Children’s Activities Association having gained international recognition for its programmes, which include Baby Sensory, Toddler Sense, Mini Professors, Reading Fairy and Photo Sensory as well as adult classes, KeepaBeat and Baby Foundations.

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