How to Help Your Teething Baby
Teething is a difficult time for babies and parents alike. For the baby, it’s due to pain and discomfort, but for the parent, it’s the distress of seeing your child in pain, and feeling helpless to do anything about it. Fortunately, there are helpful ways to reduce the pain and make the teething process easier for everyone.
Try a Gum Massage
Gently massaging your baby’s gums with clean fingers can help relieve the pressure of tooth eruption. Washing your hands with cold water can make this even more helpful for your baby, as the cold helps to soothe the painful area.
It can be helpful to prepare for gum massage during teething by massaging your baby’s gums before they start going through this process. You can do this by massaging gently for a couple of minutes after feeding.
Use a Teething Ring
Teething rings are helpful because the act of biting and chewing them applies pressure to the gums. This pressure helps to alleviate pain of the erupting tooth. Try putting the ring in the refrigerator or freezer before giving it to your child—some prefer a cold ring as it helps numb the area in addition to relieving the pain.
Teething necklaces are an increasingly popular option that replaces or supplements the teething ring. A teething necklace is an amber bead necklace that the baby can bite, granting them the same kind of comfort and pain relief as they would from a teething ring. Note that a bead necklace can be a choking hazard—so a baby should be closely supervised when wearing the necklace.
Try an OTC Pain Reliever
Over-the-counter pain relievers are available in doses suitable for infants and toddlers. For teething, pain relievers such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen are safe to use in age-appropriate doses. A good time to give these is just before bed, to help them get restful sleep.
Another option is a topical pain-relief gel. This is applied to the gum where the tooth is starting to come through. This option should be used sparingly, however, to make sure other parts of the mouth aren’t numbed.
An Icy Cold Treat
As ice is so helpful for numbing the gums, many teething children enjoy chilled or frozen foods. Some options to try including frozen breast milk, diluted fruit juice, or frozen baby food. Place the frozen pop in a mesh teether to prevent a choking hazard, and your baby can safely enjoy the cool treat.
Start Your Child’s Regular Dental Checkups
Having a dental professional monitor your child’s smile as their teeth start to emerge is the most effective way to ensure there are no complications to the process. At Keen Dentistry in El Cajon, Dr. Keen and our dedicated team have helped parents of teething babies develop effective techniques for combatting the discomfort felt during the process. Call us today to set up an appointment.