As anyone who has been a parent before can tell you, one of the first mouth-related events in a baby or infant’s life is teething. Babies are born with their teeth all below the gumline, and somewhere between six and 12 months into their lives, some of these teeth will begin erupting into the visible parts of the mouth – this is the teething process, one that’s commonly accompanied by symptoms like fussiness, sleeping problems, loss of appetite, significant drool and several potential others.
At Children’s Crossing Pediatric Dentistry, we’re here to help with all your children’s dentist needs, including for babies and infants. Our combination of interceptive orthodontics, preventive dentistry and other services ensures your child is set up for a life proper oral care and a healthy mouth. If your baby is dealing with teething symptoms that are creating discomfort, here are some tips to help relieve their pain – plus some general information on ensuring their mouth remains healthy during this important time.
Comfort and Pain Relief Techniques
- Massage: In many cases, pain or discomfort associated with teething can be soothed using a simple massage of your baby’s gums. Use a clean finger or a piece of gauze, with gentle pressure along the gums. When your child has more than a couple teeth in, make sure you’re careful and don’t get bitten accidentally.
- Cool items: If your baby uses a solid teether or teething to chew on, you can cool it in the fridge to increase its pain relief qualities. However, do not place these items in the freezer, as this level of cold can be damaging to young mouths.
- Chewing: Speaking of chewing, there are a number of great teething toys and items available to give your child a distraction and something to ease their oral tension.
- Comfort food: If your baby has already progressed to solid food, consider scaling them back to cold applesauce or purees temporarily.
- Skin: If one of your child’s teething symptoms is increased drooling, do your best to clean their face regularly to ensure they don’t develop chafing or a rash.
Health and Safety Considerations
In addition to keeping your baby as comfortable as possible during the teething process, here are some general health-related tips:
- Whether you use chewing items or any other materials placed in the child’s mouth, ensure these only use non-toxic and chemical-free manufacturing methods. We recommend against liquid-filled teethers, which may break or leak.
- Some parents use over-the-counter gels or liquids containing benzocaine to reduce gum pain. In rare cases, this compound may lead to major health conditions, so check with your pediatric dentist before doing so.
- Any teething items given to the child should be of the proper size – if they’re too small or breakable, they can create a choking risk.
For more on how to help your baby or infant with their teething discomfort, or to learn about any of our pediatric dental services, speak to the staff at Children’s Crossing Pediatric Dentistry today.