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Myth Buster: Drooling Means Teething

[PURPLE_TEXT_BOLD {What you've heard:}] Drooling is a sign of teething.

[PURPLE_TEXT_BOLD {The truth:}] Those dribbles usually begin around 4 months  -- two months earlier than the first tooth most often appears  -- and there's no evidence that teething increases the flow. "Babies drool because their bodies are making more enzymes to digest solid foods," says Ari Brown, M.D., coauthor of Baby 411.

You'll soon get in the habit of wiping your baby's mouth with a soft cloth to (try to) keep it dry; if he gets a red rash, apply a little petroleum jelly. (If drooling appears with frequent ear infections or snoring, though, see your pediatrician; these may be signs of enlarged adenoids.) When your child develops the ability to swallow the saliva  -- usually around age 1  -- his little wet mouth will be a thing of the past.

As for signs of teething, look for slight gum swelling, along with irritability, wakefulness, and loss of appetite. Not to mention, wailing! To soothe the pain, try infant pain relievers and a semi-frozen teething ring.

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