Diagnosis Discussion- Teething

I know this isn’t necessarily a definitive diagnosis, but parents do take their children to the pediatrician if they think something is wrong, and then come to find out that their child is teething.

Below is a good article on natural remedies to help with teething, some you probably recognize, and hopefully some are something new you can try or recommend to your patients!  I also am attaching general info about teething, enjoy!

baby teething

So how does teething relate to physical therapy?  Well from my experience, teething baby = rough physical therapy session.

My patients’ parents usually schedule sessions around teething or try to premedicate them before our sessions.  I’ve noticed that most my patients hate being on their stomach and doing tummy time activities when they’re teething.  I’m guessing like anyone, if you have a toothache, being face down does not help the pressure and pain in your mouth.  If a patient becomes randomly angry during a therapy session, I usually advise the parent that they’re child may be teething, (and they usually are! 🙂 ).

I have had a few patients who began teething around 2 months, yes 2 months! and had their first tooth by 4 months!  One patient currently has 6 teeth at 5 months, and I had another patient who had about 20 teeth by 1 year.  The 1 year old looked great in photos smiling with a mouth full of teeth :-D.  The one thing these 2 patients had in common?  They hatedddddd tummy time up until 8 months, which was after about 10 teeth came in and they felt much better.

So just something to consider if your child hates tummy time and you’ve ruled out all other causes for why they aren’t comfortable with tummy time.  Remember to speak with your doctor, however, if you feel your child looks like they’re in pain when they’re on their tummy.

Got any natural remedies for my poor, teething baby?

This article has some great ideas, click to read more, but here are some of their suggestions:

  • dampen wash cloth with cool water, can also soak in chamomile tea for calming/soothing effects
  • this new toy called Sophie the Giraffe, a toy with natural safe rubber for your child to gnaw on while they’re teething.  I personally like their little alien toy better because it’s more like a nipple.  Or they have a more typical teething ring here.
  • whole carrot — washed and peeled, of course
  • What if nothing seems to work? Sometimes a clean, dry finger is all a baby needs to ease that pain.
  • amber necklaces (meant to wear, not to chew), that release a natural analgesic to help calm and relax your baby

The following general info is from MedlinePlus


Teething is the growth of teeth through the gums in the mouth of infants and young children.


Teething usually begins when a baby is between 6 and 8 months old. All 20 baby teeth should be in place by the time a child is 30 months old. Some children do not show any teeth until much later than 8 months, but this is usually normal.

  • The two bottom front teeth (lower incisors) usually come in first.
  • Next to grow in are usually the two top front teeth (upper incisors).
  • Then the other incisors, lower and upper molars, canines, and finally the upper and lower lateral molars come in.

The signs of teething are:

  • Acting cranky or irritable
  • Biting or chewing on hard objects
  • Drooling, which may often begin before teething starts
  • Gum swelling and tenderness
  • Refusing food
  • Sleeping problems

Teething does NOT cause fever or diarrhea. If your child develops a fever or diarrhea and you are worried about it, talk to your health care provider.

Tips to ease your child’s teething discomfort:

  • Wipe your baby’s face with a cloth to remove the drool and prevent a rash.
  • Give your infant a cool object to chew on, such as a firm rubber teething ring or a cold apple. Avoid liquid-filled teething rings, or any plastic objects that might break.
  • Gently rub the gums with a cool, wet washcloth, or (until the teeth are right near the surface) a clean finger. You may place the wet washcloth in the freezer first, but wash it before using it again.
  • Feed your child cool, soft foods such as applesauce or yogurt (if your baby is eating solids).
  • Use a bottle, if it seems to help, but only fill it with water. Formula, milk, or juice can all cause tooth decay.

You can buy the following medications and remedies at the drug store:

  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol and others) or ibuprofen can help when your baby is very cranky or uncomfortable.
  • Teething gels and preparations rubbed right on your baby’s gums may help the pain for a short while. Be careful not to use too much.

What not to do:

  • DO NOT tie a teething ring or any other object around your child’s neck.
  • DO NOT place anything frozen against your child’s gums.
  • NEVER cut the gums to help a tooth grow in, because this can lead to infection.
  • Avoid teething powders.
  • NEVER give your child aspirin or place it against the gums or teeth.
  • DO NOT rub alcohol on your baby’s gums.

Categories: Child Development, Diagnosis Discussion

Tags: , , , , , ,

1 reply

  1. Thanks for the blog and all this information for my baby face!


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