Dr. Patrick Gramith is very familiar with teething infants. He is not only a family practitioner at McLaren Flint’s facility in Fenton, he has two young children – a three-year-old and a ten-month-old. His infant son, Joseph, is right in the middle of teething. “I’m a doctor but I am a parent, too,” he says with a smile.
According to Dr. Gramith, teething usually starts when an infant is about four to six months old and can go on for about two years. “The incisors are first,” he reports, “and then the first molars come in at about one year and the second molars at two years. But it varies for every child.” As an example, his infant son has three teeth at ten months but his cousin had eight teeth by eight months of age. “There is really no set time,” he says, “and sometimes, they can get a lot of teeth all at once.”
What are some of the symptoms of teething?
Symptoms include drooling, fussiness, poor feeding and the need to chew on something. Fever is NOT a symptom of teething and if a fever is involved, Dr. Gramith advises parents to have the infant or child examined by a physician. The symptoms can, on occasion, be worse during the nighttime hours.
Is teething painful?
“It’s not always painful, but it is hard to say because they can’t tell us,” says the doctor. His son is a happy-go-lucky little guy but wasn’t napping very well, so they gave him some Tylenol. “We thought that he might be in pain.”
Giving the infant or the child a chilled, water-filled plastic ring to chew on can help. Dr. Gramith’s son loves to chew on a silicone toothbrush. “Tylenol can also help,” he notes. “You can also use Motrin for inflammation, but I like Tylenol better. It’s easier on the stomach.”
A final word of advice
“It is important for parents to know the symptoms of teething. If other symptoms occur, it might be an infection and the child should be evaluated by a doctor.”
Fever is NOT a symptom of teething and if a fever is involved, the infant or child should be evaluated by a physician.
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