Babies cut their first teeth, on average, at about the age of six months and don’t complete their set of 20 baby or milk teeth until they’re around two to three years old. The first don’t usually give any trouble, but when the back teeth come through, they can cause pain. Some babies sail through teething without a murmur, while others aren’t quite so fortunate. Teething trouble is pretty easy to spot – if your baby is grizzly or upset, dribbling more than usual, has a red cheek or is gnawing everything in reach, then it’s likely that teething is the cause. But if you have any doubts at all, it’s best to get medical advice so as not to blame teething and overlook any real illness.
Special teething gels are available to relieve the baby’s discomfort. These usually contain antiseptics such as cetyl-pyridinium chloride to prevent infection, as well as a local anaesthetic like lignocaine hydrochloride to numb any pain. Teething gel can be applied using a small pad of cotton wool or a clean finger and then rubbed gently on to the baby’s gums. Repeat after 20 minutes if necessary. If your child is in great discomfort you can also use paracetamol infant suspensions to relieve the pain.
While we’re talking about teeth, you may not realise that you can help look after your baby’s teeth even before they appear. Don’t allow sweet substances to stay in contact with his or her gums for long periods. This means not using baby drinks in bottles as a comforter and not dipping dummies in sweet syrups or honey.
Anbesol, Calgel, Calpol Infant Suspension, Cupanol Under Six, Dentinox Teething Gel, Fenning’s Children’s Cooling Powders, Junior Paraclear, Teejel Gel (use only under professional guidance if the child is sensitive to or is currently being prescribed aspirin)
Calpol Infant Suspension