Teething is actually the time when the teeth of an infant begin to push out of the gums. Normally, the first teeth start appearing earliest around the sixth to eighth month of the baby's age, but sometimes it may even take as long as a year. Once the first tooth has emerged, another will come out of the gums in the subsequent month. However, this pattern may differ in different infants. It may take almost a year the complete first set of a baby's teeth to emerge, however, the teething process make around one to two years to be completed. There may be times when an infant may have one or two more teeth sticking out of the gums right at the time of his or her birth, but this is actually no reason for worry.
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However, the manner in which the first teeth of a baby appear may differ from one infant to another, but usually, they central incisors or the two teeth in the middle of the bottom gums emerge ahead of others. Subsequently, the upper two middle teeth protrude out of the gums. This is followed by the bottom lateral incisors - the two teeth on both sides of the central incisors. Next to appear are the basic molars at the back of the jaw and this if followed by the emergence of the eye teeth - the sharp teeth at the top. In all, the infants usually have 20 milk teeth. And sometimes, the teething process may take as long as three years to be completed.
A child has his or her first permanent teeth when he or she is of about six or seven years of age. When the permanent teeth begin to come out, they replace the baby or milk teeth by pushing them out of their place. Happily enough, the emergence of the permanent teeth does not result in the kind of annoyance and uneasiness that the baby had experienced during the teething period. However, there is some pain and discomfort when the final set of molar teeth, also called 'wisdom teeth', appear when an individual is in his or her late adolescence or early adulthood.
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The teething phase of a baby includes a number of symptoms - painful and inflamed gums, tetchiness, slight rise in body temperature, sleeping problems, salivating or drooling, a keenness for biting on firm articles and occasionally, lack of craving for food. It has been found that several babies who are passing through the teething phase, they have an affinity for nasal clogging that may sometimes result in colds or contagions of the ear. In fact, the soreness, uneasiness and the swollen gums endured by a child during the teething phase is primarily owing to the fact that the crown of the emerging teeth applies stress against the tissues of the gum to come out of the membranes. Consequently, the cheeks of the baby may turn red and become sore and roughened owing to excessive slobbering. In addition, the baby will have a tendency to bite or chew hard objects as well as suck his or her fingers. It is important to not that a baby passing through the teething phase generally becomes easily aggravated or annoyed and more fidgety compared to any other normal child. They also endure sleeping disorder and may occasionally awake as frequently as once in every hour during the night.
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While we have discussed the most common symptoms of teething, it may be mentioned that these may differ from one infant to another. It is basically owing to the different symptoms of teething, physicians as well as parents differ a lot regarding the indications of teething as well as the extent of pain endured by the child. Below, please find a list of different symptoms that a baby may experience during the teething phase. Generally, majority of the parents are of the opinion that a number of the symptoms or all of them mentioned below occurred during the time of their babies' teething phase. Nevertheless, in case your baby also experiences any or all of the teething symptoms mentioned below, it is essential that you consult a paediatrician in order to ensure that these symptoms are not a result of any other medical condition endured by your child.
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A number of herbs and supplement too have been found to be effective in easing the discomfort and alleviating the pain experienced by a teething child. In fact, clove oil works as a normal anaesthesia and helps in getting relief from pain and discomfort. Clove oil has a pleasing flavour and acts rapidly to alleviate tender gums. Nevertheless, clove oil should be used with caution and in moderate amounts, since excessive use of this natural substance may result in formation of blisters. In order to ensure that clove oil is not very potent for your child, it may be diluted by mixing one drop of clove oil with one or two tablespoons of safflower oil. Rub the blend on the child's aching gums with your fingertip or using cotton gauze to provide relief from teething pain.
Even licorice root is effective in easing sore gums of a teething baby. Prepare a little paste with licorice root powder (about one-eighth teaspoon) by blending it with water and apply the paste tenderly on the child's sore gums. It will soon cause a soothing effect to the swollen gums.
Many parents also resort to homeopathic treatment to help ease their child's teething pain. There are several homeopathic medications that are useful in easing the discomfort and alleviating the pain of a teething baby. Homeopathic medicines may be administered in dosages of 12c or 30c at an interval of two hours. Alternately, these medications may be given at brief intervals, after about every half hour, depending on the symptoms of teething. Using homeopathic medicines usually offer quick, but enduring results. Especially 200c dosages of Calc. phos. or Calc. carb. may be given to the child sometimes (usually once a week or month when needed) to help in the metabolism of the bone and tissue in general.
There are numerous things that you may try and do with a view to alleviate the teething pain of a baby. While some of the things may prove to be effective, others may not. However, most parents say that it is always sensible to try out different things to ease the baby's discomfort and pain. The child may obtain relief from using teething rings as well as rubber teething toys that are filled with water and chilled. In addition, the fingers of the parents may also help to prove the counter stress that occasionally alleviates the teething pain providing relief to the child. You may also give your teething baby a cold bottle of water as this may also prove to be effective in alleviating the child's pain and discomfort. In case you find that sucking the cold water bottle is proving to be bothersome for your child, give the child a cup of cold water. Offering the child water is also useful to replace the body fluid loss caused by excessive salivation or diarrhea.
A number of parents have also confirmed that offering cold food to a teething baby also helps in alleviating the pain and discomfort endured by him or her. Compared to a chilled teething ring or rubber teething toys, providing the child with ice cold applesauce, pureed peaches or yogurt will not only be more tempting to the teething child, but they will also provide him or her with nourishments.
If you find that no effort by you is proving to be effective, you may also try the Infant Tylenol. However, it is essential to always consult your physician prior to giving your child the Infant Tylenol (acetaminophen). The physician will not only advise you whether the medication is suitable for your child, but will also suggest the right dosage if it is right for your baby. In addition, administering teething pain medications, such as Baby Orajel and others, to the gums may also help to alleviate the pain. However, there is a difference of opinion regarding the efficacy of medicines like Baby Orajel. While a number of parents confirm that Baby Orajel works very well, there are others who say that the medicine is not useful at all. It is also important to consult your physician before giving this type of non-prescription or over-the-counter medicines to your child to alleviate his or her teething pain.
In fact, new born babies experience so many different things and the teething process is one among them that will happen and then be over after some time. Hence, it is important to continue undertaking various measures to provide the child with relief. Your endeavour should continue till you find something that is effective in alleviating the teething child's pain and discomfort.
Here is a word of caution. Prior to trying any of the ideas discussed thus far or any additional kind of home therapy to alleviate your teething child's pain and discomfort, it is essential that you consult a paediatrician. In fact, before implementing any of the suggestions discussed here, you should necessarily go by the instructions of your paediatrician. This is important because the doctor treating your child is the best person to suggest what is right for the baby and what is not.
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