Teething can be an uncomfortable time for babies, with little gums experiencing tenderness and swelling as emerging teeth break through the surface. In light of a recent FDA warning against using lidocaine for teething infants, we wanted to put together a few helpful tips for managing this sometimes-difficult time for your child.
Massage sore gums.
Gently rubbing your baby’s tender gums with a clean finger or soft cloth can help alleviate some teething pain. Applying slight pressure to the gums offers temporary relief from soreness and is one of the quickest and easiest ways to make your child more comfortable.
Find a teething ring that your baby loves.
We recommend sticking to teething rings that are made of solid rubber because those filled with liquid can sometimes break. Experiment with different types or sizes until your baby shows you which one he or she clearly prefers.
Stay cool, but not frozen.
While it’s fairly common to give babies cold washcloths or teething rings that have been in the freezer, it’s best to use one that is simply cold. Your baby’s gums are very sensitive and contact with frozen objects could actually harm them. If you do use a frozen teething ring, you might consider giving it a few minutes to warm up or unthaw.
Consider cold foods.
If your baby is beginning to eat solid foods, you may try offering large chunks of vegetables for gnawing. It’s important to always carefully watch your baby and remember that choking can occur easily, with babies being able to bite off small pieces. A good solution is mesh feeders that allow children to taste foods without the fear of choking.
Keep a clean cloth nearby.
Teething often causes excessive drooling which can irritate your baby’s chin and neck if consistently left to dry. Instead, have a soft cloth handy to gently dab away saliva regularly.
Remember that teething isn’t sickness.
Teething is normal and natural that shouldn’t be accompanied by symptoms of illness outside of an occasional mild or low-grade temperature (under 101 degrees Fahrenheit or 38.3 degrees Celsius). Your baby may be irritable or fussy during teething, but high fevers are caused by viral infections and not teething. Contact your pediatrician if you sense your child may be getting ill.
Don’t forget to establish a Dental Home.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends establishing a dental home by age one or at the emergence of the first tooth, whichever comes first. If your child is teething, and you have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our office!