Teething is the process of a baby’s teeth growing and pushing through the gums. It usually begins between 4 and 7 months and often continues until the age of 2 years. The teething process typically starts with the front teeth, followed by the first molars and then the canines.
Complications of Teething
Teething is a milestone that all babies go through, and it often brings discomfort and pain. The gums become swollen and tender as the teeth push toward the surface. A slight elevation in temperature is also common during teething. But if the temperature rises above 100.4 degrees, seek medical attention, as teething is not the cause of a temperature this high. Vomiting and diarrhea are other symptoms a baby can have during teething.
Helping the Baby With Teething
The best way to soothe a baby’s discomfort during the teething process is to give him something to chew on. Specifically, this should be a firm teething ring or an unsweetened teething cracker. Frozen teething rings are discouraged, as the extreme cold could possibly do damage to the baby’s mouth. And topical pain relievers or numbing agents for teething are also not recommended. A teething baby produces so much drool that these are typically washed away before they have much of an effect.
If the child’s pain and discomfort cannot be soothed or seems worse than usual, it might be worth a visit to a doctor. A typical course of action is a small dose of an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Also, it’s important to maintain the baby’s sleep schedule as much as possible during teething, despite the baby’s irritation and restlessness. Changing the baby’s sleep pattern could cause further problems with sleeping in the weeks and months to come.
SOURCE: American Academy of Pediatrics
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