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Teething Signs & Symptoms

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While teething is an exciting milestone in your youngster's first year of firsts, recognizing when teething is taking place before the tooth erupts isn't always the easiest task. However, there are a few signs and symptoms that commonly take place during teething, as well as a way to manage your baby's discomfort until the new tooth breaks through.

Telltale Actions

While she might have had an interest in putting things in her mouth before to explore new tastes and textures, that exploration is nothing like the interest during teething. She might try to put absolutely everything in her mouth—from her fingers to her big sister's flute—biting down, chewing and even sucking to soothe her gums. Other teething hints include rubbing at her face, grabbing her ears and turning her head away when you offer her food, explains the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). However, these symptoms in conjunction with a fever can signal a potential ear infection.

What You'll See

Take a look in his mouth if you suspect a tooth is coming. You might be able to see the tooth just below the gums, or his gums might seem swollen around the area from which the new tooth will emerge. If you find yourself changing your baby's bib on an hourly basis, the excessive drooling is often a telltale sign. If teething is giving your baby a little grief, you might also notice an increase in irritability, too, according to the AAP. However, irritability on its own, without the presence of other common teething symptoms, might be indicative of another condition.

Sweet Relief

If teething seems to be taking its toll on your little munchkin, try massaging her gums to reduce some pressure. Chilled foods such as banana chunks, applesauce or yogurt can help too. If she's not chewing yet, let her suck on a cold or damp cloth. If you put something in the freezer first to get it cold for her, take it out before it completely freezes since that item could lead to more gum discomfort. Stay away from teething products containing benzocaine cautions the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Unrelated Symptoms

Babies will have issues during the teething process that won't have anything to do with teething. While a low grade fever can occur—less than 101 degrees Fahrenheit—a fever any higher is indicative of something other than tooth troubles. Diarrhea, vomiting, difficulty sleeping or nasal congestion rarely have anything to do with teething according to the AAP. If your baby is experiencing any of these symptoms, talk to your health care practitioner to rule out a more serious, underlying problem or condition.

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