When your baby begins to chew on everything in sight and starts drooling, it is a good sign that teething has begun. Teeth begin to push through the gums when your baby is about six months old.
WHAT IT IS?
The foundation for baby teeth, called tooth buds, forms while your little one is still in your womb. The first tooth out is usually one of the middle teeth on the bottom row, followed by the centre teeth on the top row. The molars at the back of the mouth are the last to come out, at age two or so.
Teething can make the gums red and sensitive, and some babies will be fussy and irritable with every tooth that erupts, while others sail through it without so much as a whimper.
The process continues with every erupting tooth until all 20 come through when your baby is about 21⁄2 years old.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
f your baby is teething, there will be some subtle and some not-so-subtle signs. If he/ she is chewing on everything within arm’s reach and producing pools of drool, there may be a tooth sprouting. Your baby may have red, swollen gums which will lead to crying and fussing. But bear in mind that some teething children will not have any of these symptoms.
It is recommended that you take your child to a dentist from the age of six months to a year, although some dentists start to see children when their teeth are just coming out.
WHAT CAN BE DONE
Teething is a normal process of your child’s development, but there are some things you can do to ease the discomfort.
Massage your child’s gums either with or without a piece of ice.
Allow your child to chew on a cold teething ring, ice lolly or a piece of ice wrapped in cloth.
Use a topical local anaesthetic or balm to reduce the pain.
Give paracetamol for a few days to make your child more comfortable, but do not use it long-term.
If feeding your child is a problem, try giving cold, smooth foods such as yoghurt, ice cream or jelly.
WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR
If your child is unwell and you think teething is not the cause.
SOURCE: MIMS HealthToday Malaysia