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Dentists Discuss Teething Babies

by Anna Woodward

posted in Home and Family

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Most new parents know the teething process can be extremely trying for all involved. There is no set pattern or schedule for when teeth will begin to emerge from the gums, and there is no telling how painful it will be or how your little one will respond.
The Facts
A total of 20 primary, deciduous, or milk teeth will emerge during the teething process -- 12 less than the adult set of permanent pearly whites. The first tooth usually comes in sometime around the baby's seventh month, but it may appear as early as three months or as late as one year. According to dentists, most children have a full set of primary pearly whites by the time they are three years old.
So what's the big deal with teething babies? If it is such a natural, orderly process, why should parents be concerned? Well, the fact that it is natural doesn't mean much, especially considering that the symptoms can vary greatly from child to child. Here are the most common ones to prepare for.
When new, sharp teeth come in, your little one will often display increased irritability. The process will be aggravating as the bigger teeth, such as molars, start to surface. Once again, every infant reacts differently, and you may find that your baby becomes accustomed to the process, whereas others remain fussy and distracted throughout the entire ordeal.
It is not at all uncommon for that average teether to produce more saliva, which can cause him to cough or even to gag. Though it may be alarming to the new parent, most of the time this is nothing to worry about as long as your baby is not running a fever or showing signs of cold or flu. If you have any questions or concerns, contact local dentists or pediatricians.
Getting back to the drooling, the incessant flow of fluids from your baby's mouth can cause the skin around his lips to become irritated or even infected. To deal with this issue, you can apply a bit of petroleum jelly or medicated cream like Neosporin.
Biting is a common symptom of teething, which, of course, is one reason why they make teething rings. These soothing aids help children relieve pressure from their gums, and they are an invaluable tool for sleep-deprived parents. The only thing you have to prepare for is the drool, because when children bite down over and over again on plastic, rubber, or silicone rings, they tend to produce copious amounts of saliva.
Advice For New Parents
To start: Don't panic! Many new parents get flustered at the sight of their little one pawing at their gums or pulling at their ears. But, as we mentioned, this is a natural process that everyone on earth must endure. Are there things you can do to help? Yes, of course.
The first thing you should do is buy a bunch of teething rings. These handy little toys really do help children deal with the pressure of new teeth. Another thing that can help baby teethers is cold fluids and foods for gentle numbing. Dentists often recommend cold water and cold baby foods to soothe irritated gums.
If all else fails to quiet your child, you can always turn to infant Tylenol. But remember, before you grind up any medication to give to your child, make sure you consult your pediatrician first.
About the Author: To learn more about their options for dentists, Fenton residents should visit
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