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Teething

  • Hematoma - This is a bluish red blister that may appear on the gum line and may bleed a little when the tooth emerges. If the blister lasts for more than a week without the tooth poking through, call your pediatrician.

  • Mild fever and diarrhea - These symptoms are under some debate among pediatricians, scientists, and parents. Many believe that fever and diarrhea are not associated with teething and instead are symptoms of a virus that occurs simultaneously. However, many parents and experts disagree and believe that the diarrhea is caused by the excess saliva produced during teething. If your baby presents either symptom, play it safe and notify your pediatrician.

To help comfort your teething baby, try rubbing her gums with your clean index finger (if she will let you), or give her a chilled teething ring. Don't give your child ice cubes to suck on; they are a choking hazard; instead, freeze or refrigerate a wet washcloth and let her chew on that. If she is eating solid food, try feeding her cool, mushy food such as applesauce or a cold, ripe banana. Infant Tylenol (acetaminophen) and oral teething gels can also help ease teething discomfort. As always, be sure to check with your pediatrician before giving your baby any medication.

You should begin brushing your baby's teeth with a baby toothbrush as soon as there is something big enough to brush. Doctors recommend brushing with water only until your baby is at least 2 years old and understands that she must spit out the toothpaste and not swallow it. According to the American Association of Pediatric Dentistry, in order to prevent dental problems your child should see a pediatric dentist when the first tooth appears, or no later than his/her first birthday.

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