Baby gagging on food teething

Teething in Babies - Pediatric Dentist in Frisco, TX

Teething in babies is a process that can start as early as 3 months or as late as 14 months with signs and symptoms that can begin 2-3 months before the appearance of the first tooth. The average age for that first tooth is about 6 months, but parents should not worry if their baby experiences teething differently than a previous child or a friend’s baby. Teething in babies depends on different factors, including heredity (when mom or dad began teething) and if your child was born early (preemies typically teeth late).

No matter when teething begins, the teeth typically erupt in pairs and often in a particular order, although if they do appear out of sequence, there is generally no cause for concern.

A general timeline for tooth eruption is:

  • 6-10 months: Lower central incisors (2 bottom front teeth)
  • 8-12 months: Upper central incisors (2 top front teeth)
  • 9-13 months: Upper lateral incisors (on either side of the upper central incisors)
  • 10-16 months: Lower lateral incisors (on either side of the lower central incisors)
  • 13-19 months: First molars
  • 16-23 months: Upper and lower canine teeth (next to the lateral incisors)
  • 2 years: Second molars (behind the first molars)

Symptoms of Teething in Babies

The teething process is different for each individual baby, but most babies exhibit at least some of these common teething symptoms:

  • Excessive drooling: Babies tend to produce extra saliva when teething, so be sure to have bibs handy.
  • Facial rash: Excessive drooling can cause chafing and redness around the mouth and chin. Gently pat the area dry with a bib or soft cloth or use Vaseline or Aquaphor to protect the skin.
  • Biting: Babies bite on just about anything to relieve the pressure created by newly erupting teeth. Counterpressure created by gnawing on something alleviates this discomfort.
  • Pulling or rubbing the ears: Teething pain in the jaw often transfers to the ear canal due to the shared nerve pathways.
  • Irritability, general fussiness, or crying: Just like adults, babies get fussy when they are uncomfortable. The gums often become inflamed as the tooth passes through, especially when the larger molars are coming in. Many babies seem to become accustomed to teething discomfort over time, while some tend to be acutely aware of teething pain throughout the entire process.
  • Nighttime wakefulness: Tooth eruption does not stop at the end of the day and, for some children, even seems to be more prominent during nighttime hours. Teething is often the cause of lost sleep for both the child and the parents. Try letting your child settle down on his/her own, or if necessary, soothe your child back to sleep rather than create a habit of nighttime feedings that will be hard to break after teething is complete.
  • Change in eating habits: Some babies refuse to eat because the sucking motion from nursing/bottles or the spoon on their gums creates more discomfort. Others may want to eat more because the bottle or spoon creates counterpressure and gives relief. Be patient and try multiple methods of feeding if necessary.
  • Increased coughing or gag reflex: The excessive amount of drooling during teething can cause gagging or coughing. As long as your baby is not showing other signs of sickness, you need not be concerned.
  • Swollen, red, or puffy gums: Your baby’s gums may appear red and swollen just prior to a tooth erupting. In some instances, especially involving molars, a bluish cyst may present that breaks when the molar pushes through. Some bleeding may occur but is not harmful to your baby.
  • Low-grade fever: Doctors are still divided on whether babies can experience fever due to teething, however, if your child does run a low-grade fever while teething, keep a watchful eye out for other symptoms. A fever over 101° or for longer than 3 days is best evaluated by your pediatrician.

Teething Remedies for Babies

If you have a teething baby, you have probably received solicited and unsolicited advice on how to alleviate teething discomfort. Some methods are tried-and-true, while others can actually be harmful to a baby. If you are unsure about using a particular method for teething relief, ask your doctor.

Safe teething remedies for babies include:

  • Counterpressure/massage: Teething toys or even your finger can create friction, soothe teething pain, and help break down gum tissue. Be sure not to give your baby anything too hard that could damage incoming teeth.
  • Chilled (not frozen) washcloth: The cold temperature helps numb the gums and the thick fabric creates counterpressure which feels good.
  • Cold food or drinks: Chilled applesauce, yogurt, or even cold water in a bottle can relieve aching gums. Be sure to supervise your child while eating and do not give large chunks of cold food that can create a choking hazard. Your doctor can advise you on age-appropriate foods that you can use.
  • Distraction: Teething is generally a dull, aching pain, and distracting your baby with a special toy or activity can often take his/her mind off of being uncomfortable.
  • Extra comfort: Sometimes the hugs and snuggles from mom or dad are just what the doctor ordered. Extra one-on-one time can sometimes be the best remedy for a fussy teething baby.
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers: If other methods are unsuccessful, over-the-counter pain medicines usually provide temporary relief for teething. Be sure to consult your doctor if you are unsure of the recommended dose.

Remember, every baby is different, so you may have to try a few methods before you find one that works best for relieving your child’s teething symptoms.

What to Avoid When Your Child is Teething

Some teething remedies found on the internet and other sources, while effective at alleviating teething pain, can actually be dangerous.


  • Rub any type of alcohol on your child’s gums: Rubbing alcohol or tiny amounts of liquors, such as brandy, can be poisonous to babies.
  • Give your child extremely hard food (such as toasted bagels or zwieback crackers) or frozen foods (such as bananas or carrots): These can soften and become choking hazards.
  • Use amber teething necklaces: Placing anything around a baby’s neck is dangerous and the beads can be a choking hazard if they are pulled off.

Caring for Your Baby’s New Teeth

As your baby’s teeth begin to emerge, it is important to start good oral hygiene right away. It is a good idea to schedule an appointment with your pediatric dentist at the first sign of tooth eruption or by age 1, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

Other tips for taking care of your baby’s new teeth include:

  • Use tap water (most contain fluoride) to brush your child’s teeth: Your dentist will advise you on using fluoride toothpaste.
  • Do not let your child go to bed with a bottle or sippy cup containing milk, juice, or other sugar-containing drinks: This practice is a main cause of early childhood caries (baby bottle tooth decay).
  • Gently brush teeth twice a day with a baby tooth brush
  • Give your baby water (once he/she is able to have it) after meals to help wash away residual food

Remember that your baby’s primary teeth, while not permanent, are important to keep healthy. They serve a vital role in your child’s long term dental health. Learn about permanent tooth eruption in children.

At Discovery Kids Pediatric Dentistry, our top priority is helping your child achieve and maintain a cavity-free, healthy smile for life.

If your child’s teeth are emerging and you would like to schedule your baby’s first dental check-up, please contact Dr. Zarmin Lalani and her team at Discovery Kids Pediatric Dentistry Frisco, Texas, by completing an online appointment request or phone 469-365-5437.

Baby Gagging during Mealtime? Top 6 Tips to decrease sensory gagging

When talking about food-related sensory problems, we need to understand what is sensory processing... Sensory Processing is our capacity to perceive smells, tastes, noises, touches, sights, and activities in our surroundings. While each person processes this information differently, our senses serve as our navigation system in this world, allowing us to interact and interpret it properly! 

We are bombarded with sensory feedback during the day, and feeding, as many of us do 5 to 6 times a day, is a massive sensory activity that most of us take for granted.


We as adults are used to processing different sensory stimuli - from textures, tastes, and smells, we're used to it. However many of our babies starting solids have not. Mealtimes in the first years of childhood are all about absorbing the sensory feedback from different foods.

When babies exhibit picky eating, especially those with food aversions/extreme picky eating, the touch, taste, or scent of food is always perceived in their brain as unpleasant. And by unpleasant, I mean it may almost trigger a fight or flight response in babies...

Our sensory processes are our most instinctual and intuitive means of interacting with the world, so it makes sense. Consider something that makes you cringe: nails on a chalkboard or touching a snail. When your child touches an orange, he or she will feel the same way you do. Dramatic, may be, but it's the reality which our babies live through and we must understand and support!

So how does this all relate to picky eating? Well picky eating can be caused by children who do not feel soft textures in their mouth well (as if the feeling is dulled) and therefore ignore them. These children, in particular, will often choose crunchy snacks, seem to spit out soft foods, or over-stuff their mouths in an attempt to “feel” the meal.


Sensory Food Aversion vs Disorder? Does my child have it?

Before we start we want to mention “sensory eating disorder” is not considered a true diagnosis in the medical community & neither is sensory food aversion. However, both terms can be used when the child consumes only a small number of foods when they are bothered by how foods smell, taste, sound, or even appear. Remember that this is due to how their brain interprets the sensations they get from food, which contributes to the point.

To further narrow down why the child's picky eating is due to sensory issues, consider which types of children are more affected by sensory processing problems than others. However, experiencing auditory processing problems, in general, DOES NOT MEAN that your child is suffering from either of these diagnoses.



Food Sensory Issues: What to Look for in Babies refusing food

Sensory problems with food may be one of the underlying reasons your child is picky with what they consume. You'll see some polar opposites in the list below, which represent both ends of the sensory processing continuum.


Gagging when starting new foods:

Gagging when feeding is a different cause and has to do with eating mechanics. Gagging may also be an acquired behavior that stems from a reaction to sensory stimuli or difficulties chewing or swallowing food at some stage in the past.


Preferences in Mouth Feel Textures:

The preference is usually for crunchy foods, but soft foods are also favoured. This preference can even extend too highly specific requests for specific food brands, colours, and flavours.


Tactile Aversions:

Avoids or dislikes getting their hands dirty, and I'm not just talking about during meals. You'll see your child being uneasy while doing crafts or playing in dirt/sand, for example.


Lack of Teething Tendencies

As an infant or toddler, they never went through an oral period in which they mouthed and chewed on toys and other items.


Pro Tips for Treating a Sensory Food Aversion!

Having said that, when used regularly for a span of at least 4-6 weeks, these few tools can be very useful because they help to desensitize the sensory system. Return to these tactics as required.

  1. Using a Long, sensory stimulating Teethers - Teethers like Lil' Foodie Chews Teether Tubes are food inspired teethers that help children map their mouths as they're long enough to reach the sides and back of children's mouths. But also their sensory stimulating texture are OT & Feeding specialist backed to promote oral desensitization! Link is here - use the code "SENSO20" to get 20% off!
  2. Encourage your child to invite you to assist him or her in brushing his or her teeth, and brush the sides of the tongue, top of the tongue, and within the cheeks as well.
  3. Build on textures that your child enjoys. Consider making minor improvements to foods they already like, such as modifying the color, taste, or textures!
  4. Encourage them to communicate in some way with the food. Contrary to conservative schools of thought, playing with your food can be a great way to break feeding barriers with sensory-sensitive teething babies.
  5. Cooking together creates a no-pressure environment in which children can try new foods. In the enjoyable and comfortable atmosphere of the moment, children feel adventurous enough to try something different. Again, the key is to break down some of that aversion through food discovery.
  6. If your child is susceptible to overeating or finding texture, you can mix crunchy and smooth bites of food. When the stuffing or spat out begins, you should either give the cheeks a hard yet soft pinch or briskly stroke from the ears to the mouth a few times.

    Teething in children, what you need to know

    All parents know that teething is a difficult period in the life of every child, because he does not sleep well, is naughty and tries to gnaw everything he can reach. But the most dangerous thing is that at this time the baby is vulnerable to many infections. We will talk about how teeth should be cut normally, why the baby’s body cannot cope with the infection, and what symptoms indicate that it is time to go to the doctor.


    Teething is a complex process, because at this time tissues are formed, teeth roots grow, gums are rebuilt. Moreover, the teeth begin to form even during pregnancy, starting from the 6th week. Around the same time, calcium begins to be deposited in the tissues of future teeth.

    Next comes the most interesting part - teething. It is considered normal if the teeth begin to cut from 4 to 7 months. But each body is unique, so everyone's teeth are cut differently. It depends on many things, for example:

    - From genetics. Often the age at which a child's teeth began to cut depends on when his relatives - mom, dad, grandparents - started teething.

    - Power supply. If the baby lacks vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C or calcium, teeth will start to erupt later.

    - From the course of pregnancy. If there was fetal toxicosis during pregnancy, this will also slow down the appearance of teeth.

    Also, teeth are normally cut in pairs, that is, first the lower central incisors appear, then the upper central incisors, the upper lateral incisors - the lower lateral incisors, the upper first molars - the lower first molars, etc. But even if the order is violated, this does not always mean any disease or serious violation. nine0003

    When to sound the alarm

    In places where teeth erupt, many biologically active substances are released, such as histamine, leukotrienes, prostaglandins, etc. They just cause the symptoms that every parent is familiar with:

    - Fever. Normally, when teething, the temperature should be subfebrile, that is, no more than 38 degrees;

    - Swelling, pain and redness of the gums.

    There is a normal reaction of the child to teething. As a rule, the baby refuses to eat, but at the same time pulls toys into his mouth to gnaw on them. Due to the fact that the child is constantly chewing on something, the nerves of the gums are irritated and a lot of saliva is released, and since the child does not yet know how to control saliva, it flows out of the mouth. Also, the child becomes more excitable than usual - sleeps less, is constantly naughty, becomes irritable. nine0003

    Life hack: to help your child and relieve toothache, buy a special teether toy. Such a toy can be filled with water and put in the refrigerator. When the baby chews on it, the toy will cool the inflamed gums and thereby partially relieve the pain.

    But there are symptoms that parents often confuse with a normal reaction to the appearance of teeth:

    - Digestive disorders - diarrhea, vomiting, loose stools;

    - Temperature above 38-39degrees, which does not subside for several days;

    - Cough, rash, swelling.

    These symptoms indicate that there is an infection in the child's body that needs to be treated.

    Why a child is so vulnerable to diseases

    When a child chews on something, microtraumas and cracks appear on the gums. The mucous membrane, like other tissues of the gums, is not yet formed, so infections easily enter the body through these injuries. And since at the age of the appearance of the first teeth - from 4 to 7 months, the passive immunity received from the mother is gradually lost, and its own immunity is just beginning to be developed, the body cannot cope with the infection. nine0003

    What should I do if my baby has unusual symptoms?

    The only sure option is to see a pediatrician. The doctor will examine the baby and prescribe tests to prescribe the right treatment. And the doctor will also assess whether the teeth are erupting correctly and give useful advice for your child.

    Make an appointment with a pediatrician in the city of Sochi by phone number 8 (862) 555-27-03, or leave a request on this site.

    Useful related links:

    Video on this topic with our pediatrician - Gryzunova Svetlana Valentinovna.

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    what to do if teeth are falling and the baby has poor appetite

    Published: 05/06/2022

    Reading time: 2 min.

    Number of reads: 60456

    Author of the article: Ponomareva Yulia Vladimirovna

    Pediatrician, Candidate of Medical Sciences, allergist-immunologist

    The appearance of milk teeth in a baby is a difficult stage in the life of both a child and all family members. This is one of the most common causes of restlessness, moody behavior and poor appetite in an infant in the first year of life. Let's discuss how parents need to behave in order to help the baby get through this difficult period.

    Contents: Hide

  1. Changes in health
  2. Refusal to eat
  3. General rules
  4. Baby porridge
  5. Practical tips

Terms of appearance of teeth

The formation of teeth occurs in utero, that is, the baby is born already with a full set of teeth, which then wait for their hour of eruption. The timing and pace of teething is an individual process, which depends primarily on heredity, as well as on external factors, such as the quality of drinking water and the nature of nutrition. For the first 3-4 months, the baby is exclusively breastfed, and the baby does not need teeth yet. By the 4th month of life, the baby is already deficient in the nutrients of breast milk, the stage of the start of the introduction of complementary foods begins. At this age, many children begin to appear the first milk teeth. However, the timing of the onset of eruption can be shifted to the second half of life, this is also a variant of the norm. On average, by the 12th month of life, a child has 8 teeth and 20 by 2 years. nine0003

Health changes

The most common teething symptoms are increased salivation and itchy gums. During this period, the child pulls in his mouth and gnaws his own fingers and any objects that come across. In addition, the appearance of teeth is often accompanied by an increase in body temperature, changes in the stool and a decrease in appetite. The temperature can be above 38 ° C and disturb the child for several days. To make sure that changes in the baby's health are associated with the appearance of milk teeth, carefully examine the child's oral cavity. On examination, you will find redness and swelling of the gums at the site of the new tooth, and the child will respond even to a slight pressure on this area. Against the background of teething, the immune defense of the baby is often reduced, which leads to the appearance of symptoms of a viral or bacterial infection. Therefore, changes in the state of health of the crumbs can only be indirectly associated with teething. In every ambiguous situation, do not neglect the advice of a pediatrician. nine0003

Refusal to eat

Teething in babies is often accompanied by eating disorders - children become selective in choosing food, and often completely refuse food. Since the appearance of milk teeth is a long process, many parents of babies are concerned that during the period when teeth are being cut, the child does not eat almost anything. The contact of food with the gums increases pain, and the child does not perceive any food well. "How and what to feed the baby?" - this is the most pressing issue for parents of infants in the first year of life. Try to follow the general recommendations during this period, as well as some practical tips to help keep the child from being hungry. nine0003

General rules

Despite the difficult situation, do not force-feed. Forced eating can provoke disruption of the digestive tract and be the cause of improper eating behavior in the future. During this period, it is better to adhere to a free feeding regime according to the principle - often, but in small portions. If the mother is breastfeeding, then expect the frequency of feedings to change. The child has a need for frequent application, not only to satisfy hunger, but also for emotional calm. In the acute phase, refuse to introduce complementary foods and choose foods that minimally irritate the oral mucosa. During this period, salivation is increased in babies, therefore, to restore the water balance, periodically offer the baby drinking water for babies, allowed from birth. The baby has a desire to gnaw and bite everything, but during this period it is better to refuse solid food as much as possible, since sharp edges can additionally injure the mucous membrane and only worsen the situation. Among complementary foods, the most optimal choice during teething are cereal complementary foods. nine0003

Children's porridge

What are the advantages of choosing children's cereals as a priority in the baby's diet during the period of the appearance of milk teeth? Firstly, it is a highly nutritious product - the combination of milk and cereals meets the needs of the child for energy and nutrients, even with a relatively small amount of the finished product. Secondly, the appropriate consistency of commercially produced baby cereals facilitates the assimilation of complementary foods. Bebi Premium baby cereals for children over 4 months of age have a homogenized degree of grinding, which does not require additional gum grinding and reduces the load on the jaw apparatus. In addition, they are easily and without lumps diluted with water or breast milk at room temperature, which also reduces the severity of pain compared to warmer food. Fruit and vegetable complementary foods, despite the appropriate puree-like structure, are rich in organic acids, which can be a source of irritation of the delicate mucous membrane of the baby's gums. During this period, another important advantage of the Bebi Premium line of children's cereals is the reduced sugar content. Sugar is a good breeding ground for microbes that live in the oral cavity, its excess intake can increase the inflammatory process in the gums. nine0003

Practical advice

The pharmaceutical market offers a variety of topical gum pain relievers approved for use in children. However, it is recommended to use them very carefully and in consultation with the pediatrician in cases where pain significantly affects the condition of the crumbs. Be careful when using them, as swallowing the gel with painkillers can lead to severe toxic reactions.

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