"Poor thing, his teeth are coming out and he's complaining all the time!" "Tonight he woke up many times: it will be pain in the gums!" "He got fever and diarrhea: the fault of the canines!" He often hears mothers making such statements: in the period of the eruption of the teeth, any discomfort is attributed to the infamous teeth. But will it be true? And how to alleviate any pain in the baby?
We have turned the most common questions among new mothers to Luca Mazzucchelli, doctor of the Child Dentistry Operating Unit of the San Paolo Hospital in our city
The eruption of the teeth lasted two years. The eruption of milk teeth (20 in total) begins around 6-8 months and ends around 30 months; however, these are not fixed dates and not infrequently the first tooth comes out at the age of one and the last around 3 years of age.
Look at the teething calendar
Pain or discomfort? It is commonly believed that whenever a tooth is about to come out, the baby feels pain. In reality, according to scientific evidence, the eruption of a tooth does not cause pain (we adults perhaps remember that we felt pain when our permanent teeth came out?), But the baby could be annoyed by the 'novelty' he perceives at all. inside of his mouth.
In particular, the most annoying could be the first incisors and the molars: the incisors because it is an experience never tried before; the molars because they are the largest.
Profuse salivation, fever, diarrhea: the fault of the teeth? These are the other 'side effects' usually attributed to tooth growth. As for salivation, some babies, when they feel the tip of a new tooth, are prone to touch it often with their tongue and this can actually increase saliva production.
As for fever and diarrhea, there is no scientifically proven correlation between these disorders and the eruption of the teeth: it is true, if anything, that the growth of the teeth coincides with the period in which the child first comes into contact with certain infections, which can manifest themselves with diarrhea or fever, but the teeth have nothing to do with it.
Tips to relieve discomfort
Gum massager. These are rough rubber toys containing coolant liquid to keep in the fridge or freezer and give the child to 'nibble': the anesthetic effect of the cold, combined with the massage exerted by the rough surface, help to 'distract' the child from the annoying sensation .
Ointments. Usually based on honey, they can give relief thanks to the sweet taste, but their effectiveness is not high. Again it can be helpful as a diversion to distract the child's attention.
Cuddles. It is perhaps the most effective remedy: a little pampering and perhaps a massage on the gums with the mother's finger give the baby the beneficial feeling of being cared for and comforted.
What if he wakes up at night? It is difficult for the baby to wake up on purpose because he has pain in his teeth: more likely, if he wakes up for other reasons, he will have difficulty falling back asleep precisely because he feels tension in the gums. In that case, there is nothing better than reassuring him by standing next to him until he falls asleep again.
Take the quiz Tooth growth, how much do you know? and read Home pharmacy for children
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When should you start brushing your baby's teeth?Around 3 years old. As soon as the first teeth appear.
- first year