Once your child’s first tooth appears, it’s time to start thinking about an appointment with the pediatric dentist. However, as that teething is occurring, the main thought in your head is probably how you can relieve your child’s teething symptoms.
Teething can be very painful for babies, and parents definitely want to find ways to relieve their child’s pain. Not all remedies are good choices for your child’s oral health, but the following options offer safe, simple ways to relieve the pain and discomfort that come with teething.
One of the best ways to relieve your baby’s pain is to give them a gum massage. Make sure you clean your fingers first, then use a finger to rub the gums. Adding some cold to the mix can help too. Consider trying wet, cool gauze or a wet, cool cloth to massage the gums to give your baby some relief.
Cool Teething Rings
Don’t freeze the teething rings, since this can be too cold for your child’s mouth. However, a cool teething ring offers a great way to sooth the pain your baby is experiencing due to tender, inflamed gums. Chewing on the ring often offers pain relief. Place a teething ring in the refrigerator until it’s cool and then let your baby chew on it. Another great idea is to chill a pacifier and then allow your baby to suck and chew on it to get some relief.
Cool Liquids or Foods
Cool liquids or foods can also offer your little one some relief while teething. Many babies don’t want to eat a lot when they’re teething. Cool treats can offer some relief from the inflammation and pain.
You can try giving your child a frozen banana, frozen ice treats, or some cold yogurt or applesauce. It’s best to avoid letting your child have spicy or salty foods, since they can irritate the gums.
Products to Avoid
Most dentists and the FDA urge parents to avoid using teething gels that have benzocaine in them. The FDA warns parents against using teething gels with this ingredient on children under the age of two, since it may be linked to methemoglobenemia, a very rare but dangerous disorder.
When to See a Dentist
If your baby doesn’t seem to get any relief from gum massage and cool objects, talk to your dentist. Your pediatric dentist can recommend a safe pain reliever to you that can help reduce your baby’s discomfort.
Remember, while you’re thinking about relieving your baby’s discomfort, you also need to start thinking about your child’s dental hygiene when teething begins.
As soon as that first tooth appears, make sure you schedule an appointment with your pediatric dentist. You should also start brushing the tooth with a bit of water and a soft toothbrush.
At that first dental appointment, you can discuss other oral hygiene habits and when to start using them with your child.