Teething can be extremely uncomfortable for babies because teeth are literally tearing through their gums for the first time to emerge. It can cause bruising, bleeding, and swelling in the gums. This process hurts so much that dentists used to use lidocaine to soothe the pain, but recently, the FDA has uncovered that this can be harmful to infants. To manage your baby’s pain in a safe, effective way, follow our tips below!
1. Massage their gums
Gently rub your baby’s gums to help alleviate their pain. Remember to use clean hands or a clean, wet cloth to avoid transmission of germs. Applying pressure to the gums can offer temporary relief from the pain of teething.
2. Use a teething ring
Solid rubber teething rings are the safest choice for babies because liquid-filled ones can potentially burst. Of course, all kids are different and have unique preferences. In general, however, teething toys and rings can help alleviate teething pain and keep your child distracted.
3. Give cool objects, not frozen
A popular misconception is that giving babies frozen items will help reduce inflammation and pain. This is actually quite the opposite of the truth! Frozen items are extremely hard and cold, so they can hurt your baby’s sensitive gums and teeth. Instead, give your child a cold washcloth or chilled teething ring from the fridge. Always check the temperature to make sure it’s not too extreme.
4. Feed your baby cold foods
Babies who have started to eat solid foods can benefit from gnawing on chilled chunks of veggies and fruits. Just remember to keep an eye on them because choking can easily occur with chunky solid foods. Mesh feeders are an awesome way to prevent babies from choking while allowing them to enjoy the taste of certain foods.
5. Keep a clean cloth handy
It’s no secret that babies tend to drool excessively, especially when teething. This can cause irritation of their skin. Have a clean cloth on hand to dab away excess saliva to prevent itchy, painful rashes.
6. Teething does not mean sickness
Though your baby may be uncomfortable, teething is totally normal and it typically is not accompanied by symptoms of illness other than an occasional mild temperature. Watch what your child chews on during this time as they may be prone to chomping down on random objects that are full of bacteria. Teeth can cause babies to be irritable, but they shouldn’t result in high fevers. Those are caused by viral infections and need to be treated immediately. Talk to your pediatrician if you think your child may be ill.
At Kids Healthy Teeth in Katy, we want to provide all our patients with a great experience, even if they’ve only got a few teeth! Feel free to give our amazing Katy pediatric dentist a call if you need advice on teething.