Teething is a process which occurs in every child and it is a normal physiologic process in the life of a child. This results in the emergence of the first sets of teeth usually the lower teeth through the gum into the mouth. The teeth emerging often arrive in pairs
The process usually starts at 6 months but occurring earlier does not mean there should be worry to parents or care givers. This process is completed between 2.5 -3 years and a total of 20 teeth are seen in the mouth.
It can be accompanied with certain symptoms which include
- mild gum itching,
- Swollen/bulging gums,
- mild elevation of temperature
- Loss of appetite
- Trying to bite, chew, and suck on everything
These Symptoms usually last for a few days before the new tooth emerges. However, some children DO NOT experience any of this symptoms at all.
MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT TEETHING
It has been attributed to causing a number of severe illness including
- Weight loss
Expert’s findings have however showed that these are not normal teething symptoms. These are signs of other illness that needs to be should be checked out. These symptoms are probably due to an infection unrelated to it.
HOW TO HANDLE A TEETHING CHILD
- Massage sore, swollen gums with a cool cloth.
- Give a clean, cool rubber teething ring to ease discomfort
- Wipe of baby mouth and chin when the child drools to prevent rashes and irritation around the mouth, chin.
- Do not self-medicate
- The use of teething powders and mixtures are strongly discouraged.
- No administration of herbal mixtures
- Mild symptoms get better and are nothing to worry about.
- Contact your paediatrician if your baby’s symptoms are severe or don’t get better.
- Blaming it for fevers can lead to late diagnosis of more severe infections in your child.