Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Teething - Baby's First Tooth

A child's first tooth is a big developmental milestone. Parents are excited about their child's first tooth, but may worry about what to expect and amount of pain the child may experience. The process of teething can be painful for both the child and the parent.

Every child is born with all 20 of their baby teeth hidden beneath the surface of their gums. For most children, the first tooth emerges at 5–7 months, although it can occur earlier or later depending on factors such as race and nutrition:

There are some common symptoms that are experienced by most babies, including drooling, chewing, swollen gums, irritability, waking at night, slight rise in temperature and diarrhea.

Remedies for teething discomfort can include: teething rings, rubbing the gums, distraction, cool damp washcloth, cold food, teething toys, frozen pacifier, and teething gel.

It is important to comfort your child while addressing their physical pain. Also, never leave a child unsupervised with any food, teething ring or cubes or similar as these can be choking hazards. Keep in mind the size and weight of the object in relation to the child. Experiment with different textures and temperatures to see what is most soothing for your teething child.

Overall, teething can cause varying levels of discomfort for a child, but it is a process he or she probably won't remember. It is important to keep a baby's gums and first teeth healthy for they set the foundation for healthy adult teeth. Parents should wipe their child's gums and tongue with damp gauze/soft cloth after feedings; and with emergence of that first tooth, begin brushing teeth twice a day until the child has learned to do so on his or her own.

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