Since I personally have a 4 month old that is currently teething, I've been inspired to write this blog.
This time in the child's life can be challenging for both the child and the parents. Fortunately, most infants experience no symptoms to mild discomfort.
The first teeth come in at roughly 6 months of age. Please refer to my Teeth Eruption Timeline blog. Some may come in a little sooner or may be slightly delayed. You can expect teething discomfort to start slightly before the teeth actually come in.
This whole teething process may continue until all 20 baby teeth are in. All of the primary (baby) teeth should be in by the age of 3.
How do you know if your child is teething? Here are some potential symptoms:
- Your child may be somewhat fussier than usual.
- You may notice the child biting on fingers, hands, toys or any object.
- Your child may refuse to eat or drink.
- Your child may drool continuously.
- The child may develop a rash on his or her face.
So what can you do to soothe the discomfort? Here are some things to consider:
- Use cold teething rings.
- Provide safe objects to chew on.
- DO NOT give aspirin. Use of aspirin is contraindicated in children due to the risk of Reye's Syndrome. This is a potentially fatal condition that involves many organs--especially the brain and liver.
- Some advocate the use of over-the counter topical anesthetic gel. I'm not to enthusiastic about these gels however. Benzocaine products have been linked to methemglobulinemia. This is a rare but serious condition of the blood.
The author of The Baby Book, Dr. William Sears (a pediatrician) believes that loose stools, runny noses or a fever are caused by teething. Most experts don't agree. These symptoms are completely unrelated. Although, during teething, there are many inflammatory cells in the mouth which will cause the temperature of the mouth to rise slightly. This may lead to inaccurate temperature readings if the temperature is taken in the mouth. Nevertheless, if these symptoms occur, your child should be evaluated to ensure something more serious is not occurring.
Dr. Cisneros maintains a practice in Freeburg and Columbia, IL. Both are in the Greater St Louis, MO area. For more information on a wide variety of subjects, please visit www.advanced-smiles.com.