Teething is a milestone in a child's development, but a troubling time for both babies and parents. As the first teeth emerge, babies may experience pain and swelling of the gums. The first set of teeth, the central incisors, either upper or lower, usually appear between the ages of 4 and 7 months. The teething process can last until the child reaches 3 years of age.
Symptoms of Teething
- Low grade temperature
- Disturbed sleep patterns
- Red, swollen gums
- Increased saliva production
- Refusal to eat
- Increased need to bite or chew on solid objects
During the teething process, your child may drool more and want to chew on things.
Treatment of Teething
Some babies experience no pain while others suffer from pain that can last for weeks. Some methods to reduce the pain of teething include the following:
- Rubbing the gums with a cold, damp washcloth
- A chilled, rubber teething ring
- Wiping away the saliva to prevent skin irritation
- Over-the-counter pain medication, without benzocaine
- Feeding cooled foods
Early hygiene is important for healthy teeth development. It is recommended for children to see a dentist by the age of one, when they typically have 6 to 8 teeth.
- Medline Plus
- National Institutes of Health
- National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
- U.S. National Library of Medicine