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Drooling, crankiness and tears can make teething an ordeal for parents, caregivers and babies alike. Here's help easing the pain — for all of you.
Although timing varies widely, babies often begin teething by about age 6 months. The two bottom front teeth (lower central incisors) are usually the first to appear, followed by the two top front teeth (upper central incisors).
Classic signs and symptoms of teething include:
Many parents suspect that teething causes fever and diarrhea, but researchers say this isn't true. Teething can cause signs and symptoms in the mouth and gums — but not elsewhere in the body.
If your teething baby seems uncomfortable, consider these simple tips:
Avoid teething medications that contain the pain reliever benzocaine. Benzocaine products have been associated with methemoglobinemia — a rare but serious condition that reduces the amount of oxygen in the blood.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also has recommended that parents not use homeopathic teething gels or tablets, which might pose a health risk to babies.
Teething can usually be handled at home. Contact your doctor or healthcare provider if your baby develops a fever, seems particularly uncomfortable, or has other signs or symptoms of illness. The problem may be something other than teething.
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