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Taking the bite out of Teething
September 13 2011, 12:00 pm
Originally published in the Brandon Sun on September 13, 2010
I’ve got you babe
By Kyla Henderson
Teething. That is a word a lot of parents may cringe over – whether anticipating that stage or remembering it. For me, and yes, you are probably going to hate me, but I really don’t think it was that bad. (I’m glad that you’re reading this in a paper right now, so if you feel like throwing something, it will won’t be at me.) My little monkey received her first set of teeth, (they only came in groups of two or four – yes, I know, you hate me,) at three months. Yep, three months old and two toofies already. I have to admit, I was terrified. I mean, I was nursing and hoped to for a while yet and here was my little girl with two brand-spanking new wolf teeth, or so they seemed to my chest. And what was more was the dread I felt about the teeth yet to come. I had heard many a horror story from my friends and relatives about the T word. Even if you just mention the word some people get this scrunched-up look on their face and mouth OMG.
The only real complaint I might have about the teething stage was that there was more nights I could count on two hands that I wish I had some magic formula that would make her teeth come in painlessly.
A little about baby teeth or deciduous teeth:
These teeth, which aren’t your tot’s permanent teeth, will come in on average, between age 6 months and 24 months. So by the time they are two, all the drama (regarding teeth that is,) should be over with. The first tooth, usually, to come in will be the lower central incisor. However, some babies don’t see their first tooth until well after their first birthday and there’s one thing you should remember with every milestone: every baby is different. Drooling and chewing on their fingers can be signs of teething, but are also just a part of development. The true sign of an impending tooth is swollen tender gums and, well, a tooth. Other symptoms can include biting, waking up at night, decreased appetite and possible a rash on the bum or the face. The symptoms usually bother the baby for two or three days before the tooth comes in and two or three days after. So don’t worry your child won’t be teething for months, unless they have one tooth after the other coming in.
What to do and how to cope can vary for each parent and child. What I found that worked, some of the time, was a warm moist terry towel cloth and let her chew on that, supervised, of course. Also teethers that you can stick in the fridge or freezer work well, but exercise caution with these products. Some have been recalled, and while they shouldn’t be store shelves, you can never be too careful. (Check http://www.healthycanadians.gc.ca/index-eng.php.) Also check if these go in the fridge or freezer. I wrecked one or two by sticking them in the freezer. I found teethers that buzz, while a good concept, were pointless because my daughter couldn’t bite hard enough to activate the buzz mechanism. I did also use baby oral gel at night when she was having trouble sleeping. Please check with your baby’s doctor before you use any over-the-counter medicine to prevent overuse and to check if it something else that is causing the symptoms. Massaging the gum with a clean finger can also provide relief for your child. If your child is having a tough time with teething, take comfort in that it doesn’t last long.