Thursday, Sept. 18, 2008

Teething, the emergence of the first baby teeth through a baby’s gums, can be a frustrating time for many babies – and their parents. In today’s 60 Second Housecall, Dr. Ed. Hill provides some tips on how you may be able to relieve your baby’s pain.

Teething usually begins around 6 months of age. But it is normal for teething to start at any time between three months and 12 months of age. By the time your child is about 3 years old, he or she will have all 20 primary teeth.

Some babies are fussier than usual when they are teething. Babies may bite on their fingers or toys to help relieve the pressure in their gums. They may also refuse to eat and drink because their mouths hurt. Many babies drool during teething, which may cause a rash on the face or chest.

Here are some tips to help your baby feel better while teething:

· Give your baby a mild pain reliever that is labeled for his or her specific age. Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than 20 years old, because it has been linked to Reye’s syndrome, a rare but serious disease.

· Use a clean finger to gently rub your baby’s gum for about two minutes at a time.

· Provide safe objects for your baby to chew on, such as teething rings. Be sure objects are free of lead paint.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, I’m Dr. Ed Hill.