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March 14, 2013
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    As a parent, the first eruption of our babies’ tooth is an exciting development. At Champions Pediatric Associates we realize that a teething child may require a little more attention, therefore, we will briefly summarize important points to care for your child during this time.

What is teething?

    Teething is the eruption of teeth through the gums of an infant or young child. Teething may occur as early as 3 months, and continues to 3 years of age. The sequence of eruption is symmetrical (lower teeth usually before upper teeth), and occurs in the following pattern for primary teeth: central incisors, lateral incisors, first molars, canines, & second molars (AAP, 2009). By 3 years of age, the child usually has at least 20 primary teeth (AAP, 2009).

What are signs & symptoms of teething?

    Teething may occasionally cause mild irritability, crying, fussiness, a low-grade temperature (not over 101F), excessive drooling, and an increased desire to chew on something hard.  Additional symptoms may include: refusal of food due to soreness of the gum region, mild rash around the mouth due to skin irritation caused by excessive drooling, & rubbing the cheek or ear region as a result of referred pain during eruption of the molars (AAP, 2013).

Alternative medicine to sooth your teething child

Chamomile—is a gentle soother and relaxer that can be used to ease teething pain. Mix 1 drop of chamomile essential oil in ½ cup of water. Dip a finger or clean, soft cloth into the solution and rub it over the child’s gums. The solution should not be used for drinking. The actual gum rubbing is very comforting. During teething the gums ache and itch at the same time. A few drops of chamomile essential oil can also be mixed with an equal number of drops of vegetable oil. Gently massage this mixture into the skin around the baby’s cheeks and jaw line.

Aloha discomfort. A Hawaiian remedy is to rub juice from a fresh or canned pineapple onto the baby’s gums. The mild stinging effect is a counterirritant.

The marshmallow plant (Althea officinalis). Marshmallow tincture has anti-inflammatory properties and soothes sore gums. This tincture is found in health food stores and can be rubbed over sore gums.

Apply Cool items to sooth the sore gums. 

Teething Rings are safe for chewing. Do not purchase lead or liquid based teething rings.

Items to Avoid for Teething

Do not apply alcohol to gums

Avoid use of over the counter gel or liquid benzocaine products (e.g. Oragel, Anbesol). These products are found to cause methemoglobinemia & seizures. Methemoglobinemia causes reduction of the amount of oxygen carried to the bloodstream, which may be fatal (AAFP, 2011). 

References:

American Academy of Pediatrics. (2013). Teething.  Retrieved from http://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/teething-tooth-care/Pages/default.aspx

American Academy of Pediatrics. (2009). A pediatric guide to children’s oral health. Retrieved from https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:yeUaBwvejDQJ:www2.aap.org/oralhealth/docs/oralhealthfcpagesf2_2_1.pdf+sequence+of+teething+american+academy+of+pediatrics&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESjrB53uy1IcnEGnOPFH35364SG2_hifEpsSgjedt_2f_uAlxm6W-vRYgNIziecEFR_ob2Z_29G7fkDRitXtbR28v2MH5dR6M6K1qpKfM6yF3oVGHY8WtzdkdaGxH2MhYFAKFitq&sig=AHIEtbRfn5GLMHi6qIS0Otl-AS5ySpukNQ

American Academy of Family Physicians. (2011). Risk posed by popular teething meds prompts FDA warning to parents, physicians. Retrieved from http://www.aafp.org/online/en/home/publications/news/news-now/health-of-the-public/20110412benzocaine.html

 

 

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