As parents, we want to make sure we are doing everything we can to keep our babies comfortable and happy. One of the ways we do this is by providing them with teethers to help soothe their sore gums during the teething process. But how do you know when to stop using teethers and move on to other methods of relief?
Toddlers typically stop teething by three years old, although some may stop teething even before, depending on when their two-year molars fully emerge.
Baby teethers are used to soothe babies’ gums when their teeth start coming in, at around 3 to 7 months of age. While teethers can provide temporary relief for swollen gums during the teething process, it is important to know when to stop using them.
Knowing when to stop using teethers is crucial for your baby’s oral health. Continued use of teethers after the teething process can lead to dental problems such as misaligned teeth, overbite, or underbite.
It is important to start weaning your baby off of teethers once they have all their teeth in, and to introduce other methods of teething relief, such as cold washcloths, teething rings, or gentle gum massages.
When to Start Using Teethers
Using teethers can help alleviate this discomfort and provide some relief. But when is the right time to introduce teethers to your baby? This comprehensive guide will discuss when to start using teethers and provide tips on choosing the right and novelty teethers for your little one.
Understanding the Teething Process
Teething typically begins around 4 to 7 months of age, although it can vary from one child to another. The first teeth to emerge are usually the lower central incisors (bottom front teeth), followed by the upper central incisors (top front teeth).
The teething process continues until around 24 to 36 months of age when the last molars appear. During this time, teething babies may experience discomfort, fussiness, drooling, and a tendency to chew on objects.
Signs Your Baby Is Ready for a Teether
Before introducing a teether, it’s essential to recognize the signs that your baby’s mouth is teething. Common signs of teething include:
Increased drooling: Excessive drooling is a common indicator that your baby’s teeth are about to erupt.
Swollen and tender gums: As the teeth push through the gums, they can become swollen and sensitive.
Irritability and fussiness: The discomfort associated with teething can make your baby more irritable and fussy than usual.
Chewing on objects: Babies instinctively seek relief from gum pain by biting or chewing on objects.
When you observe these signs, it’s a good indication that your baby may benefit from a teether.
Introducing Teethers to Your Baby
It’s generally safe to introduce teethers to your baby as soon as they show signs of teething, which typically occurs around 4 to 7 months of age.
Introducing a teether at this stage can help soothe their sore gums and provide a safe and appropriate object for them to chew on. However, it’s essential to choose the right type of teether and follow safety guidelines.
Choosing the Right Teether
There are various teethers available in the market, and it’s crucial to select one that is appropriate for your teething baby – their age and developmental stage. Here are some factors to consider when choosing the best teether or teething toy:
Material: Teethers come in various materials, such as silicone, rubber, wood, and plastic. Opt for BPA-free and non-toxic materials to ensure your baby’s safety.
Size and shape: Choose a teether that is easy for your baby to hold and maneuver. The teether should not be small enough to pose a choking hazard.
Texture: Teethers with varying textures can provide additional sensory stimulation and help massage your baby’s gums more effectively.
Cooling feature: Some teethers can be refrigerated or frozen to provide extra relief from teething pain. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cooling and never give your baby a frozen teether, as it can be too hard and cause injury.
Teether Safety Guidelines
When using teethers, it’s essential to follow these safety guidelines:
Supervision: Always supervise your baby while they use a teether to prevent choking or other accidents.
Regular inspection: Check the teether regularly for signs of wear and tear, such as cracks or loose parts. Replace the teether if it becomes damaged.
Cleanliness: Keep the teether clean by following the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions, usually by washing with mild soap and water.
When to Stop Using Teethers or Baby Teething Toys
Signs Your Baby is Ready to Stop Using Teethers
Teething is a natural process that typically lasts until a child is around three years old. However, there are some signs that your baby may be ready to stop using teethers:
Your baby’s teeth have fully emerged from the gums
Your baby is no longer showing signs of discomfort or pain from teething
Your baby has lost interest in using teethers
If your baby is showing these signs, it may be time to retire the teethers.
Risks of Continuing to Use Teethers
While teethers can be a helpful tool for soothing teething pain, there are risks associated with continuing to use them once your baby is ready to move on:
Teethers can become a choking hazard if they break or become damaged
Continued use of teethers can interfere with the development of your baby’s teeth
Teethers can harbor bacteria if not cleaned properly
It’s important to monitor your baby’s use of teethers and discontinue use once they are no longer needed.
Alternatives to Teethers
If your baby is no longer using teethers, there are other options for soothing teething pain:
Cold foods, such as yogurt or pureed fruit
Gently massaging your baby’s gums with a clean finger
Teething pain relief
- Breastfeeding to soothe sore gums
Always supervise your baby during teething and consult with your pediatrician if you have any concerns about your baby’s teething pain.
FAQs on Teethers and Baby’s Teething Toys
What is the age range for teethers?
The age range for teethers is typically from 4 to 7 months, which is when most babies start teething. However, some babies might begin teething earlier or later than this age range. Teethers can be used until your baby has all their primary teeth, usually around 2 to 3 years of age.
Do one-year-olds need teethers?
One-year-olds may still need teethers, depending on their individual teething progress.
While most babies begin teething around 4 to 7 months, the process continues until they have all their primary teeth, which can take up to 2 to 3 years. If your one-year-old is still experiencing teething pain and discomfort, providing a teether can be helpful.
Can a 1-year-old sleep with a teether?
It is not recommended to let a 1-year-old sleep with a teether. There is a risk of choking or suffocation if the baby falls asleep with the teether in their mouth.
Instead, consider using other methods to soothe your baby’s teething pain before bedtime, such as offering a cold washcloth to chew on, massaging their gums, or administering a pain reliever approved by your pediatrician.
Can I give my 3-month-old a teething toy?
While most babies don’t start teething until around 4 to 7 months, some might begin teething earlier. If your 3-month-old is showing signs of teething, such as excessive drooling, fussiness, or a tendency to chew on objects, you can consider offering them a teething toy.
Make sure to choose an age-appropriate teething toy that is easy for your baby to hold and free of small parts that could pose a choking hazard. The best teething toys will be fully safety tested.
Can I give a newborn teething baby teething rings?
Newborns typically do not require teething toys, as the teething process usually begins around 4 to 7 months of age.
However, if your newborn is showing early signs of teething, consult with your pediatrician for guidance on how to address their discomfort. It’s essential to choose an age-appropriate teething toy specifically designed for very young babies, ensuring it is safe, easy to hold, and free of choking hazards.
To ease baby’s discomfort, give a very basic teething toy that is suitable from birth. Sometimes the most basic teething toy can be the best!