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Teething is the sequential appearance of baby teeth. Generally speaking, teething begins around age 6 months, and continues until the baby is about 3 years old. But in some healthy babies, the first tooth appears in the third month; in others, it doesn't emerge until the infant is a full year old.

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Teething - Is it sooner in boys or girls?

Teeth usually appear sooner in girls than in boys. Teething patterns tend to be hereditary, so knowing when you and your spouse began to cut your teeth may provide some clue. When teeth appear in a healthy baby is believed to have nothing to do with whether a baby is developing well. Nor does the timing have anything to do with baby's mental development.

Baby teeth usually emerge in pairs; first come the two lower central incisors, the two remaining lower incisors, the first molars, the four-pointed canines, and, finally, the four two-year molars.

Expect 20 teeth by the third birthday.

Spotting the Signs of Teething:

  • Increased fussiness; night-time crying and "clingy" behavior.
  • Excessive drooling.
  • Chewing on fingers, teething rings, and other objects.
  • Swollen, red, inflamed gums.
  • Increased demand in nursing or bottle-feeding.
  • Rejection of breast or bottle because sucking hurts gums.
  • Poor appetite
  • Interrupted sleep

The Mouth

The mouth is your baby's most developed sensory organ and a great source of pleasure. This pleasure can be discovered through feeding, sucking on a pacifier or fingers and, even though you hate it, sticking everything he comes across into his mouth. Then, these nasty teeth start breaking through the gums and the pleasure his mouth previously provided has been rudely interrupted.

Natural solutions to help with teething

Try to keep your baby as happy as possible by using the following natural remedies:

Cold Teether - Give your baby a cold teether. A teether with texture may provide extra satisfaction. Be careful providing a teether to a child with teeth. He could puncture it.

Cold Food - You can try a cold baby carrot for a child that doesn't have teeth yet. If your child has teeth, he might choke on pieces of carrot. You can also give your child a frozen banana. As always, with any food you feed your baby, be sure to supervise closely.

Something to Chew on - Use teething biscuits in moderation once teeth appear as they can cause tooth decay due to their sugar content

Entertain your Child - Sometimes a simple distraction can help your baby forget his pain temporarily.

Rub your very clean finger against the gums - Your baby may object at first, but soon the counter pressure may provide some relief.

Cool Bottle of Water - This may help numb the soreness of the gums

A note on teething gels: Experts caution against the excessive use of teething gels as they contain benzocaine. There is a risk of allergic reaction. In addition, benzocaine can cause numbing of the throat and could lead to choking. Consult your doctor if you want to help relieve your child's pain with benzocaine.

Recommended natural supplementation to help with teething

Baby Teething Powder: For relief of the discomfort & restlessness of teething in babies & children.

Calmunurse: Calmunurse (formally Sedate 565 and Calumnecta) is a herbal sedative formula. Does not create dependence or fatigue so may be used any time of day. May assist with stress, restlessness & worry. Also safe for babies to help with teething & griping pains.

Teethmed Relief: Teethmed Relief has been formulated to help reduce swelling of the gums, pain, irritability & fever that is associated with teething in babies and toddlers. May also be useful in minor toothache or cutting wisdom teeth.

Tissue Salts Comb R: Combination R has been designed to help alleviate infant teething pain.  The tablets would need to be crushed and mixed with water to administer.

Nutritional Almanac, Gayla and John Kirschmann
Prescription for Nutritional Healing, James and Phyllis Balch
The Physician’s Handbook of Clinical Nutrition, Henry Osiecki


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The Naturopathic Team
Ideal Health

Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered and is intended to be used for educational and general information purposes only. It is not intended as medical advice or as a means to diagnose, treat, cure or prescribe for any particular condition or disease. You assume all responsibility for the treatment which may be undertaken as a result of the information on this site, or treatment recommended by any other party. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.

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