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What is teething?

Teething is a normal physiological process which describes when deciduous teeth (sometimes known as ‘milk teeth’ or ‘baby teeth’) emerge through the gums, causing usually mild and localized symptoms.

In general, most infants start teething around six months of age. However, some children start teething before the age of four months (1%) or after the age of twelve months (1%). Some babies are even born with their first teeth.

Baby teeth can emerge with no pain or discomfort at all. But sometimes, you may notice:

  • your baby’s gum is sore and red where the tooth is coming through
  • one cheek is flushed
  • they are rubbing their ear
  • your baby is dribbling more than usual
  • they are gnawing and chewing on things a lot
  • they are more fretful than usual

Should I seek medical advice?

Teething rings give your baby something to chew safely. This may ease their discomfort and distract them from the pain. Some teething rings can be cooled first in the fridge, which may help to soothe your baby’s gums. The instructions that come with the ring should tell you how long to chill it for. Do not put a teething ring in the freezer, as it could damage your baby’s gums if it gets frozen.

You know your baby best. If you believe they need additional pain relief then you may benefit from a telephone consultation with a pharmacist from Mayberry Pharmacy. There are various treatment options available and it is just a case of finding the most suitable option for you and your child. Teething gels contain a mild local anaesthetic and are only available from pharmacies. If your baby is in pain, you may want to give them a sugar-free painkilling medicine. Paracetamol or ibuprofen can be given to relieve teething symptoms in babies and young children aged 3 months or older. Children under 16 years old should not have aspirin. If you are unsure, please consult a pharmacist first.

Next steps…

If your child is teething, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by booking a free telephone consultation with one of our experienced pharmacists for advice and support.

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