Teething Tips

Parents have been asking me a mouthful of questions about how to help their baby get through the teething phase, so let me bite into this topic and provide some information. Teething begins at about three months of age and can continue until a child reaches three years, which is usually the time by which all the baby teeth have come in. Teething actually starts before you see the tooth pushing through the gums, and it continues, on average, every month, until all 20 teeth are in. As the tooth breaks through the gums, you may see that your infant drools more and wants to chew on things. For some babies, teething is painless. For others, though, its a constant source of irritability and crankiness, coupled with crying and trouble sleeping. Teething rarely, if ever, causes a fever, so if your child is not acting normal and has a fever, please talk with the pediatrician before you write it off as teething; the fever may be due to something else. As far as treatment for teething, give your baby something to chew on, making sure that it is not big enough to swallow and is not a choking hazard. Putting a wet washcloth or a rubber teething ring into the freezer is a good idea, but be sure to not leave it in the freezer for more than 30 minutesto avoid giving your child frostbite. And be sure to wash the cloth when your child is done with it. Just rubbing your babys gums gently with a clean finger may also help. Do not use liquid-filled teethers, since they could get punctured and leak the germ-filled liquid into your childs mouth. And do not put a teething ring on a string around your childs neck, since it could get caught on something and cause strangulation. If you would like to give your teething baby some medication, you can try acetaminophen. Avoid gels for the gums, since they can be dangerous if absorbed into the bloodstream. Also, do not rub alcohol on your childs gums, because it can also be absorbed into the bloodstream, causing serious problems. Hopefully tips like this will brush away all concerns you have when it comes to knowing a little bit more about your infants teething.

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