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Health > Teething Problems

Teething Problems

Teething Problems Fact Sheet

This is the time when teeth break through the surface of the gums in an infant.

What to look for

  • crying more than usual.
  • dribbling increases
  • chewing on fingers and rubbing the mouth.
  • swollen and red gums.
  • loose bowel movements - but should not be diarrhoea
  • pulling on ears
  • refusal to suck on breast or bottle.
  • there will be NO fever

Starting at about 4 or 5 months onwards you may notice the start of some of the symptoms above. By approximately 7 or 8 months of age, your child will usually be teething tirelessly.


The new teeth grow upwards towards the surface of the gums and break through the skin causing pain.

Traditional Treatment

There are certain things which can be done to relieve the discomfort of this stage in life.
This is a normal stage in the growing up of your child and you do not need to see a doctor unless the child shows signs of illness or extreme continual distress.

Alternative/Natural Treatments

Herbal Therapies - You may be recommended marsh mallow (Althaea officinalis) root syrup for inflamed gums; use 3 tsp in your child's food or drink daily.
Homoeopathy - Homoeopathic teething remedies are available over the counter. Chamomilla (camomile) is the most commonly used homoeopathic remedy for teething children.
Lifestyle - When your child begins teething, start cleaning her teeth with a soft toothbrush. This will get her used to good oral hygiene from an early age. Give your baby a toothbrush as a toy when the teeth first come through.
Do not give sweet drinks when your child is thirsty, try water or soy drinks instead.

Personal Care

  • Teething rings or a chilled wet washcloth can ease soreness.
  • Rashes can easily start to occur from drooling, use vasoline or petroleum jelly around your baby’s mouth and chin.
  • Avoid feeding your child salty or acidic foods, which can aggravate sensitive gums.
  • Rub ice or lemon juice on gums.

When to seek further professional advice

  • There are other symptoms as well, such as diarrhoea, fever or chills.
  • no teeth are present by 12 months of age.

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