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Teething Guide

Teething Guide

When babies are teething, it can be very painful for both infants and parents, who can do little to ease the discomfort of a teething child. Teething usually begins at between six and nine months, although some babies start much earlier, while others won't start until they are over a year old.

Before your baby even begins teething, you may notice her displaying some symptoms. She may tug on her ears or cheeks as teeth begin to reach the surface. Her gums may become swollen and red, and your infant may be more fussy than usual.

Babies have ten teeth on the top, and ten on the bottom. Bottom teeth usually appear first, and then middle top teeth. Like teething times, no two babies are alike. Your babies' teeth can first come in anywhere in her mouth. If your baby is displaying teething symptoms, take her to her physician to rule out other medical causes and to get advice on how you can minimize discomfort.

Some parents notice changes in their baby's health during teething. While many doctors are divided on which are teething symptoms and which are due to other things, diarrhea, drooling and a runny nose can be indications of teething. However, most physicians believe that a runny nose and drooling aren't really teething symptoms, but due to bacteria and excessive chewing that babies do while teething.

You can ease your baby's teething symptoms with over the counter gel, which you can put on your fingers and rub in your infant's mouth throughout the day. There are many teething rings and toys that can be chilled, and babies might find relief from chewing on these objects. You can also find numerous vibrating teething rings that put pressure on irritated gums, and a cool washcloth or even your finger can ease the pain of teething.

You may notice that your baby has a decreased appetite during teething. This isn't due to intestinal distress, but pain from chewing or even sucking on a bottle nipple. Cold foods like yogurt or applesauce can be good choices for teething babies.

Remember to always consult your baby's doctor if she is displaying symptoms like ear-pulling, or has a runny nose or diarrhea. These can also be symptoms of other infant ailments, and a physician can determine if this is the case. Also, ask your child's pediatrician before using topical teething gel.

As the teeth begin to break the surface in your baby's mouth, you should wipe them gently with a washcloth to prevent bacteria from spreading. Infants can get infections from openings in the gums, so keep the area clean as much as possible.

While teething can be uncomfortable, it is a necessary part of your child's life. Try to make your infant as comfortable as possible, and soon the distressing symptoms of teething will pass.


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