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Teething: Doesn’t Need Medicine

Catagory: General Pediatrics  Author: Dr Vamsi Krishna

The eruption of teeth is a milestone for every newborn, whether it occurs early in infancy or later in the first year of life.

A lot of what parents perceive as newborn pain, fussiness, and irritability is attributed to teething. Teething is frequently blamed for disease symptoms including fever, excessive crying, decreased appetite, disturbed sleep, rashes, and diarrhoea. It’s interesting to note that there is little scientific proof that any of these symptoms are brought on by teething. Indeed, the idea that teething makes newborns miserable is exaggerated.

When newborns exhibit symptoms that are more likely to be due to a serious disease than teething, parents may be misled.

For three to five days before a tooth erupts, teething babies may be fussy and drool a lot. A rash on the face and chin can occasionally result from excessive drooling. In order to relieve the strain on their gums and prevent them from seeming bloated, babies may also put their fingers and toys in their mouths. Some infants can have a modest decrease in appetite, but this should not cause them to stop feeding entirely or cause them to get dehydrated. Babies do not experience fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, typical cold symptoms, or weeks of teething difficulty. Do not assume that your infant is experiencing teething if you believe any of these symptoms to be present. Instead, call your physician or go to the hospital if necessary.

Treating teething symptoms with over-the-counter medications is not essential and can even be hazardous. Parents can massage their baby’s gums, offer a cold, firm rubber teething ring to gnaw on, or, as a last option, administer a dosage of paracetamol. For instance, teething medications have been connected to a number of newborn fatalities. It serves as a reminder that something is not necessarily safe just because it is “natural”:

These pills contain belladonna, a substance derived from a plant known as deadly nightshade. Belladonna has a nervous system-altering effect that can result in hallucinations, a quick heartbeat, dry lips and skin, dilated pupils, and even death. These pills are homoeopathic, which means they have been so thoroughly diluted that they are completely inert. Homeopathic remedies are not tested for safety and efficacy, and their consistency in dosage, dose, or quality is not controlled by the FDA because they are considered supplements rather than medications.

Teething gels containing benzocaine should also be avoided for identical reasons—they aren’t essential and they may be damaging. Teething bracelets and necklaces, which are common cultural customs, are dangerous and should not be worn around a newborn or young child’s wrist or neck:

Children shouldn’t wear teething jewellery because it poses a choking or strangling risk. Amber, wood, marble, and silicone are all used to make teething necklaces and bracelets. They are advertised to soothe teething discomfort, but they are also occasionally used to provide attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder sufferers sensory stimulation.

There have been tales of youngsters choking on broken beads and an 18-month-old dying while napping after being strangled by an amber necklace.

Not recommended behaviours include dipping a pacifier in a sweet food product or adding honey, jam, or sugar to a feeding bottle. These therapies can result in oral discomfort and deterioration and have no pain-relieving effects. Additionally, it is not advisable to feed a baby in bed with a feeding bottle, especially one that contains sweet liquid, since this raises the risk of tooth decay, which can lead to pain and illness.