Signs and Symptoms
1. Increased fussiness, nighttime crying, and clingy behavior.
2. Excessive salivate.
3. Chewing on fingers and other objects.
4. Swollen, red, and inflamed gums.
5. Increased desire for nursing or bottle-feeding, or child may refuse breast or bottle because sucking action hurts sore gums.
6. Reduced appetite.
What to do now
1. When your child seems uncomfortable, rub his or her gums with a clean finger.
2. Wrap an ice cube in a soft cloth, and rub it gently on your child’s gums to reduce inflammation. Keep moving the ice over the gums to avoid damaging tissue.
3. If discomfort persists, consult doctor about using acetaminophen. ( Never give aspirin to a child under 12 who has chicken pox, flu, or any other illness your suspect of being caused by a virus).
4. The drooling that accompanies teething can cause a rash on the face, neck, and upper chest.
5. Change wet clothing often, or use bibs.
6. Never rub brandy or any other alcoholic drink on your child’s gums (no matter what you might have heard). Alcohol, even in small amounts, is bad for children.
When to call a doctor
1. If your child has no teeth by 12 months of age. This could indicate a harmless, inherited tendency to late teething, but it might mean a condition that causes delayed bone development.
2. If your child has a fever that lasts more than 48 hours or is higher than 100 degrees, has diarrhea, or is lethargic; these symptoms may indicate a condition more serious than teething.
3. If your child has cold symptoms, a persistent fever, trouble eating or sleeping, or garbs at the side of his or her face; this could signal an ear infection.