The first set of teeth that humans get are often called milk teeth. There are only twenty milk teeth and they normally appear in pairs, those on the lower, biting jaw usually appearing first. The first teeth usually appear in the sixth or seventh month and the complete dentition period can last from 18 to 30 months. However, there is a lot of latitude and many babies vary from this precedent in many ways.
The procedure of dentition for babies is often very painful, but it is also totally necessary and there is very little that can be done to help the child. However, if you keep in touch with your doctor or midwife, things should go well. One of the potential problems is infection. With the teeth breaking through the gums, bacteria can easily attack, so it is a period to watch what your baby puts into its mouth while teething.
There are two trends in teething: problem-free and problematic. We will look at them both. Most babies that have been breast fed, deal with teething better than other babies, but not all. This does not mean that you should breast feed, it is only an observation - teething must still be painful.
The symptoms of teething are: inflamed gums, increased saliva and red cheeks. In addition, teething babies chew on anything within reach and become more thirsty. Because the baby's gums are tender, it will not want to drink for long at a time, but being more thirsty, it will have to drink more often. It will also become more ill-tempered and cry a lot more than customary.
In order to relieve these symptoms, exercise your baby as much as you can, especially in the fresh air. It will make it tired. Feed often, but not for long periods of time. Some kind of teething ring is appropriate at this time because you can ensure that it is clean and antiseptic. Chewing seems to ease the pain, but it might only be a distraction. No matter, anything that works is good.
Different countries have different traditions. Some European countries (used to) give licorice root, honey or other sweet products to divert the baby during teething, but this practice has largely been discredited, because of evidence that a chubby child will become a chubby adult.
Your midwife will be able to give you plenty of advice and there are new products and ideas appearing every year, so you would be wise to devote some of the little time that you now have left as a parent to joining a website or a blog on teething babies.
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