Drooling, crankiness and tears can make teething an ordeal for babies and parents alike. Here's information to help ease the pain - for both of you.
Although timing varies widely, babies often begin teething by about age 6 months. The two bottom front teeth (lower central incisors) are usually the first to appear, followed by the two top front teeth (upper central incisors).
Classic signs and symptoms of teething include:
Many parents suspect that teething causes fever and diarrhea, but researchers say these symptoms aren't indications of teething. If your baby has a rectal temperature of 100.4 F (38 C) or diarrhea, talk to the doctor.
What's the best way to soothe sore gums?
If your teething baby seems uncomfortable, consider these simple tips:
What treatments should I avoid?
To keep your baby safe, avoid using:
Do I need to call the doctor?
Teething can usually be handled at home. Contact the doctor if your baby seems particularly uncomfortable or if teething seems to be interfering with his or her eating or drinking.
How do I care for my baby's new teeth?
Run a soft, clean cloth over your baby's gums twice a day - after the morning feeding and before bed. The cleansing can keep food debris and bacteria from building up in your baby's mouth.
When your baby's first teeth appear, use a small, soft-bristled toothbrush to clean his or her teeth twice a day. Until your child learns to spit — at about age 3 — use a smear of fluoride toothpaste no bigger than the size of a grain of rice. Then switch to a pea-sized dollop as your child approaches 2 to 3 years of age.
It's also time to think about regular dental checkups. The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommend scheduling a child's first dental visit at or near his or her first birthday.
Remember, regular childhood dental care helps set the stage for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.
Source: Mayo Clinic