Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Teething is a process by which the first set of teeth pushes through the gum line. Some babies do not seem to mind this at all but other babies can be very fussy every time a tooth comes through. They refuse to eat and sometimes may just take the bottle or nurse. They will be waking-up several times at night because of discomfort.They can also be grabbing at their ears because of referred pain, same nerve fibers innervate the gum and the ears.This may be associated with low grade fever but once the temperature is more than 101.5F this is most likely not secondary to teething. Teething is not associated with diarrhea or congestion. Most mother's believe that it is the case. Studies have not shown a correlation between this two symptoms. Teething happens from 3 months to 3 years of age. They should have their first set of teeth, 20 in all, by 3 years of age. What to do if your baby is teething? You will notice some swelling in the gum line with the white teeth coming through, this process can occur for several weeks.
  • you can use your clean fingers to massage the area of the gum that is swollen
  • give your baby something to chew on, a wet washcloth that has been put in the freezer for 30 minutes should soothe him, teething rings are good too, just make sure it is not hard as ice because this can cause bruising in the gums
  • acetaminophen is good to help at night when they go to sleep and should last for 4 hours
  • sometimes we can try some baby Oragel or Anbesol only if the baby is very irritable this does not usually last long and I rarely recommend it because it is a topical anesthetic
  • lots of hugs and kisses should work great

I always tell my parents that this is a "rite of passage" and this too shall pass before you know it (after a few sleepless nights).

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