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Teething: What You Need to Know

November 4, 2014
Posted By: Dr. Natasha

Sometime after the fourth month, and in some cases lasting until the third birthday, your baby will start getting their first set of teeth. The first time you get to take a picture of a toothy grin can be great cause for celebration, but getting there will not be easy. Teething causes a lot of frustration and anxiety for parents because it can be very painful for an infant’s gums, so it’s best to be prepared with as much knowledge as possible. Knowing what to expect and when will help you, and therefore help your baby, get through what can be a painful first experience.

At-home remedies

If your baby has been wailing over the pain caused by tooth eruption, try some simple at-home remedies to ease their discomfort. The main thing is providing a safe object for them to gnaw on. The act of biting their sore gums down on something solid, and preferably cold, will help out a lot. Suggestions range from certain frozen foods, like bananas or bagels, all the way to your finger. A washcloth that you get damp and then freeze will also be a source of great relief for your baby. The most important thing to remember is the reduction of choking hazards.

Myths, Do’s and Don’ts

There is a common misconception among many parents that fever and diarrhea are common side effects of teething. In fact, this is not true. The most common side effects of teething are drooling, pain, and gnawing behaviors. If your child is experiencing a high fever and diarrhea, even if they are teething you should seek advice from your pediatrician. These are most likely signs of a different problem. The most important things that you can do is to massage their sore gums and keep them clean. Even brand new, barely visible teeth are susceptible to cavities, and keeping gums clean will reduce the risk or infection.

If your child has begun teething, feel free to consult with your pediatric dentist about the best courses of action. In some cases, mild pain relievers such as ibuprofen might be a solution. But, asking the advice of a physician first is always the best course of action.

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