No parent likes to see their baby suffer, so while teething is a necessary rite of passage, it can be a difficult one for baby and parent alike. The drooling, crying, and general crankiness can be very challenging. There are some things that can be done to ease the discomfort of teething and make sure that the emerging teeth grow healthy and strong.
Use Cold Items
There are many teethers and pacifiers on the market that can be chilled in the refrigerator until needed. Do not store teethers in the freezer, as they may get too hard and damage sensitive gums. A damp frozen washcloth is a safe and effective chew item for a baby with sore gums. If your baby is already started on solid foods, you may wish to offer frozen fruits or vegetables in a mesh bag. The bag will eliminate the risk of a child biting off too large of a piece and choking. If you have a more experienced eater, it is okay to offer things like chilled apple, cucumber, or bagel without a mesh bag as long as you supervise carefully.
Use Pressure To Relieve Pain
Some babies will simply not care for chewing on cold things. There are many different teethers with various textures that your little one may enjoy. Just rubbing a clean finger gently but firmly along the gums can provide much relief for some teething babies.
Use Medicine When Needed
Sometimes a trip to the pharmacy is in order to help alleviate teething pain. There are various topical remedies, both traditional and homeopathic, as well as pain killers, such as baby asprin, available. It is always a good idea to talk with a pediatrician or pharmacist before giving any sort of medication to your baby.
Prevent Other Painful Problems
All of the excess drooling that accompanies teething may cause skin irritation. In order to alleviate this problem, make sure to wipe the drool and keep the face as dry as possible. It is a good idea to just keep the baby in a bib during this time. Having irritated skin while teething will only make matters worse.
Visit The Dentist
Once the teeth begin to pop through, there are important steps to take to keep the new pearly whites healthy. A baby should make their first visit to the dentist by one year of age, whether or not a tooth has emerged. The dentist can take a look at the child’s mouth and teeth and make sure all looks healthy. This visit also helps to establish healthy dental habits at a young age, suggests Dr. Brian Yim. Once the first tooth emerges, use a small soft bristled brush with a very small amount of toothpaste to keep the tooth clean.
While teething can be a stressful time for both baby and parents, it’s important to take steps to ease the pain for everyone. Before you know it, your toothless baby will have a big wide toothy grin.