Believe it or not, there are a certain amount of health practitioners out there who have claimed that teething pain does not exist. That teething is, in fact, a myth. Whilst researching for my book I came across articles that claimed every symptom parents’ have ever reported, over hundreds of years, are not linked to teething, that children get approximately 20 viral infections in their first couple of years and coincidentally they get 20 teeth, so we are mistaking teething for colds and that most of the signs are in fact made up in our own minds. According to some dentists, teething pain doesn’t even exist… tell that to the next adult who complains about their wisdom teeth.
‘Parents and other caregivers are too quick to list fever, difficulty sleeping, fussiness, nasal congestion, and diarrhea, in addition to the most frequently cited symptom of pain, but the evidence has not been very supportive of these beliefs.’
‘To put it bluntly, it does not appear that the eruption of a tooth can be successfully predicted by any collection of symptoms.’
‘Separating Fact from Fiction in Pediatric Medicine: Infant Teething’
Well, I am here to tell you that I do not agree with these statements one little bit and this is why I sat down one sunny day and decided to write a book; I am pretty sure there are quite a few of you who also believe that teething is real. I watched as my child began to chew and drool from 6 weeks of age and then with each tooth that appeared I saw different symptoms evolving, causing more issues for my poor little boy. He had his first 2 teeth at 5 months and from then on he swiftly gained 14 more by the age of 13 months. In that time I could list about 10 or more symptoms which were all linked to his teeth erupting. As a first time Mum you have to learn so much on the job and try and take in tips from other parent’s and I really found that with this development I was doing this an awful lot more than I had done with any other areas… well maybe except sleep.
‘Put away the teething granules, bin the gels and release Sophie the Giraffe back into the wild!’
The Independent: ‘Is teething just a myth?’
With the doctor only recommending Calpol and suggesting I use white noise to help with the sleep issues I felt at a complete loss. Why did so many health experts not see teething as the big issue that I did?! There were no leaflets on all the products available for treating teething problems, no lists of possible symptoms, how to spot them or how to treat them and no information to let you know that teething can actually start from the day your baby is born and can continue until they are 3 years old. I had to research all of this myself and was stunned to read about so many great products – but then if the doctor thought I was overreacting and that teething only caused mild pain I guess she thought all these available products were non-essential?
I have tried many of the available products but the only way to determine which worked the best for him was through trial and error. A mix of infant paracetamol and ibuprofen a couple of hours apart when the pain was unbearable, teething granules to calm and settle his tummy and teething gel to soothe painful gums. However, I did also use Amber jewellery and it did work for us. Oh, I know the scientists and health experts do not believe in this supposed ‘mumbo jumbo’ but my goodness did I see a difference in him?! He slept better, he calmed more and his drooling subsided substantially. I wish I had used amber from the word go. Of course, not all medicines or products will work for every baby and not every baby will suffer through the same symptoms or at the same time. There is a common pattern seen in the order they will appear but not every baby will follow this. The truth is, not enough is known about teething and studies have been far too difficult to conduct due to the fact that babies all react differently and gain teeth at different ages. There is so little known about this development that I am adamant that parents need to follow their own instincts and react to their babies because they know them best. If you feel they are not ill and showing symptoms which may be linked to a new tooth, the chances are you are most probably right.
I became so frustrated by this development and this began my passion for wanting to discover as much I could about it and to help other parents who may be suffering in silence. The parents who are at their wit’s end, who are desperate for sleep and who are fed up of trying every trick in the book to get their baby off to sleep. The ones who are desperately seeking help on parenting sites, who are trying every old wives’ tale going, who want to calm and ease their baby’s pain but are struggling to do so. I want to send a clear message out there that teething is a real issue which is causing real pain and that parents do need more answers.
This is precisely why I wrote my book Your Teething Baby: From one parent to another.
I was so fed up of being fobbed off, of being made to feel like a difficult parent and being told that my baby was going through a phase. Each time a new tooth was trying to come through I knew we were going to be in for a tough time again and I knew I was not imagining any of it. I am so lucky that we are now through this stage and that he finally has his full set of teeth but I know there are many more of you feeling at a loss the way I was. If you are looking for a book that gives you quotes from parents who have been there and survived it, clear product information, a list of symptoms and how to cope with them, oral care, brushing tips, remedies on the market, remedies from around the world, the history of teething, a teething chart, information on the types of teeth we get and much more then look no further. Here is a sneak peek.
Teething symptoms have been documented for hundreds of years and remedies have been investigated ever since… with many being very extreme. We are still reporting the same symptoms today and, that for me is enough evidence that teething is NOT a myth!
Real quotes from real parents who have really gone through teething:
‘There were times when she would just scream the house down! I tried many different remedies but found infant paracetamol, infant ibuprofen and cooled teething rings were the best. She had the usual symptoms of pain, dribbling and rosy cheeks.’
Rebecca, Mother of one
‘The symptoms I saw with my youngest were red cheeks, nappy rash, loose bowels and lots of dribbling. She was in pain a lot which made her really irritable. I used teething granules and paracetamol most of the time.’
Tammy, Mother of two
‘When my girls teethed I found it really hard to apply the gels without being bitten! I got around this by popping the gel onto a toothbrush and gently brushing it onto the gums. It would apply it to the right place and soothe their gums at the same time.’
Carla, Mother of two
‘When my daughter was teething her mouth and gums would get so hot and swollen. I always kept teethers and dummies in the fridge as these really helped to cool and calm her’.
Chloe, Mother of two
‘I would say don’t make it harder for yourself. Do what you have to do to get through. Don’t let others make you think you’re doing it wrong. If you can’t soothe their pain, or get them to sleep, stuff routine. They soon get back into the swing of things. Have them back in your bed so you can still get some rest. Rock them to sleep in the pushchair/pram, then leave them to sleep, if you try and move them they WILL get
disturbed! Go to sleep on the sofa together with the tv on
for them to take their mind off it
(obviously something they enjoy.) If there is one thing I have learned over the years, it’s each child is different and don’t let anyone make you feel like you are doing it all wrong. There are parents out there that would never do those things, but it doesn’t hurt them. You are soothing them. Sometimes you have to give up on what is the correct way to do things, for them. And your own sanity too! ‘
Kim, Mother of seven
So, there we have it, teething is not a myth!
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