Teething concerns and care
Teething is usually the symptoms experienced while the childâs primary or milk teeth are on the way to make their entry into the oral cavity by piercing the gums. Though there is no fixed time, it can begin as early as three months or somewhere between four to seven months of age. This whole process can be problematic for both parents and child.
â¢ Teething is accompanied by swelling of the gums and soreness. There can be bluish purple areas around the gums. All this is normal and temporary and generally subsides as soon as the tooth appears.
â¢ Due to soreness and itchy feeling, your child may bite on the fingers or everything he/she comes across. This brings a sort of relief from the teething symptoms.
â¢ Drooling can be seen, which may cause rashes on the affected areas.
â¢ Teething can cause slight fever, but if the temperature is very high, then you should contact your doctor.
â¢ You may have heard that teething causes diarrhoea, but no studies have proven so.
â¢ Anything unusual in the behaviour should be reported to the dentist immediately.
â¢ Coughing: It can be there due to the gag reflex produced from teething.
â¢ Due to irritation, coughing, child may refuse to feed.
Care during teething:
1. Gum massage: This helps in soothing the gum surface and your child may feel better. You can use a sterilized finger or cold teething rings to do massage for at least two minutes.
2. Teethers: They are rubber coated toys and are safe for the child during teething. They are also of orthodontic significance. Keep the teethers in a freezer, as they act as cold compressors and are relieving for your childâs gums.
3. OTC painkillers: If the child is crying excessively or having pain, then you can give over-the-counter available painkillers, but only after a doctorâs consultation.
4. Keep babyâs face clean: To prevent rashes, clean your babyâs face with cotton wipes to remove the drool.
5. Avoid teething biscuits: Avoid things like teething biscuits, frozen food etc, because at the age of teething, the child hardly eats and giving him/her solid food can cause damage to already prone gums. Also avoid teething gels and tablets.
Dr Keith John
Clinic: SVG Dental Corporation