Generally, babies start teething around six months of age and will have a full set of 20 teeth by the age of 3. The most common signs of teething are chewing on things like toys, books or fingers and excessive drooling. Not all babies show similar signs and symptoms and some children that are teething may show no signs at all. Many believe that teething causes runny nose, diarrhea, fever, and earaches, but these are all myths. Teething is a process that spans 2.5 years, and during this period, minor colds or illnesses can occur and are unrelated to teething. Make sure you contact your pediatrician if your child is ill.
Parents should avoid medications like Anbesol and Orajel and other products that are marketed for teething babies. Stay away from teething tablets that contain belladonna and gels that contain benzocaine. The FDA has issued warnings against both due to potential side effects.
Do not give your child teethers that contain BPA, or teething necklaces and bracelets made of amber, marbles or silicone. Teething necklaces may be a choking hazard.
Some tips to help comfort your child
Wet a washcloth and freeze it, then allow your baby to chew on the cold fabric
Use a BPA free teething ring or toy
Use teething pacifier that has small pieces of frozen fruit within it
Prevent a rash by wiping away drool
Use your clean fingers or washcloth to massage the gums
Try hard cold foods such as cucumbers or carrots, but be sure to observe your child, as these can be choking hazards
If your baby is especially cranky, try over the counter pain relief such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen