Saturday, March 24, 2007


A common source of parental concern is regarding the teething of their child. They are worried as to when the child will cut her first tooth. As it is true with all types of development, there is no fixed or ideal time when the first tooth should erupt. In some children, it may erupt as 5 month, while in others, it may not erupt up to the age of 1 year. there is nothing wrong wit your child if her tooth doesn’t come out by 1 year. Most of the parents think that their child is deficient in calcium and/or vitamin-D, which may be true, but only in a few cases, in majority of cases, it is just a normal variant and hence no intervention is required.

Parents also attribute a lot of things to teething. Every complaint at the time of teething is attributed to it. Thus if the child has fever, irritability, diarrhea etc, the parents usually blame it on teething. Problems like fever, vomiting etc. cannot be attributed to teething. It is sure that during the teething phase, there is irritation on the gums of the child and to reduce it, she puts foreign objects in her mouth and chew on them. These foreign objects may be an indirect source of infection in the child and cause diarrhea.

There are two types of teeth: deciduous or milk teeth and the permanent teeth. There are 20 milk teeth and 32 permanent teeth. The milk teeth start erupting from the age of 5 months onwards and first tooth to come is usually the lower central incisor.

A simple way of remember the eruption of milk teeth is that by 6 months there are 0 teeth; by 12 months, 6 teeth; by 18 months, 12 teeth, and by 24 months, 16 teeth. The last 4 teeth make their appearance by 2 and one by 2 – 3 years.


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