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About the Illness

A child’s first teeth will start coming through between 3-16 months, although it is usually around 6 months. The 2 bottom teeth will be the first to show, followed by the 4 upper teeth in 4-8 weeks. Children will continue to get new teeth until they have all 20 primary teeth at around 3 yrs old. Most children will grow 4 new teeth every 4 months or so.

Common Symptoms

Irritated/swollen gums; grinding gums; biting breasts during feeding (HIV+ mothers should be very careful at this time to avoid transmission); putting anything into mouth to try and soothe the gums.

Herbal Therapy

If your baby is experiencing a lot of discomfort, try to relieve it by using one of the following remedies:

Maize Cob Ash good for baby

Apply a little powdered ash to the gums as necessary.

Oxalis corniculata Leaves good for baby

Crush leaves and apply to gums as necessary.

Sapium ellipticum Leaves good for baby

Crush the leaves and apply to gums as necessary.

Food and Nutrition Advice

  • Give plenty of liquids.
  • Feed your baby easily digestible, warm, mashed food.
  • Do not feed your baby sugar or salt for first year.

Body Work and General Advice

  • When babies are teething, they like to put things in their mouths to chew. You can give them teething rings, or hard vegetables like carrots. But it is important that you practice good hygiene and only allow your baby to put clean things in her mouth. This will stop the baby from catching other infections.
  • Many people believe teething causes fever and diarrhoea. This is not true. If your baby is experiencing fever and diarrhoea this is most likely due to a viral infection or other type of illness that is common during this time. Identify the cause and manage it

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