While the first tooth is cause for celebration, the actual teething process can be very uncomfortable for your baby. If you’re a first-time parent or someone who deals with very young children, you’ve probably experienced the fussiness and discomfort that comes with the first tooth. But don’t despair—here are a few tips that can help you and your child keep the peace during these trying times.
Teething: Do This First
The timeline is unique for all children, but typically a baby starts teething between as early as 6 months. Some children get their teeth in much later, while others may already have them once born. These natal teeth get their name from when they form— they develop under the gums while your child is in the womb.
Once your child begins to teethe, that’s a sign to start up their dental hygiene routine. The first step starts with the doctor’s visit: aside from looking at your baby’s other vital signs, your pediatrician can check the gums and growing teeth for any signs of decay or disease. If there is, they might be referred to a dentist to have them checked and fixed. If not, this screening can continue until your child is three years old.
Keep their teeth and gums clean to massage their gums with a clean finger and wiping them with a soft, moist cloth after eating and before sleepy time.
What if my child has teething pain?
Pain is, unfortunately, something that always comes with the teething process, but there are ways to keep it on the down-low. As long as your child doesn’t show abnormal symptoms (high fever, diarrhea, or congestion), the best thing to do is to wait it out until all their teeth set in. In the meantime, here are 5 essential teething tips for your baby:
Keep your baby’s gums cool to aid with the pain
Do not give your baby frozen objects since the extreme cold can be damaging, especially to babies that do not know the harm frozen items possess when directly placed anywhere on the body for long periods of time.
However, giving your baby a cold washrag to chew on, a cold chew toy, or cold food products can significantly help teething babies temporarily numb their pain.
Opt for over-the-counter pain medicines or homeopathic remedies
Over-the-counter medicines are advised. Homeopathic remedies may also be safe and helpful for your teething child. If you are unsure what to give your baby that is safe, it’s always best to speak with a professional. Typically, over-the-counter products designed for babies are likely to be safe and pose little to no harm to your child.
Allow your baby to chew on something
Chewing on a teething ring, a cloth, a clean blanket, or a hard toy are ideal for teething babies. Not only does it allow pressure to be applied to the aching areas to relieve the pain, it also distracts babies from the discomfort.
Apply pressure to your baby’s gums by rubbing them to relieve the pain
Another way to ensure your baby receives pressure on the aching areas of the mouth is to rub your baby’s gums with a clean, wet washcloth. The pressure applied and the washcloth’s wetness will greatly help reduce the pain your baby is feeling.
Do NOT rub alcohol on your baby’s gums
Because of the harm of alcohol for babies, it’s best to stay away from alcohol for soothing your baby’s teething pain. There are many safe ways to relieve your baby’s teething pain, but this is not an ideal one. Resort to remedies that pose little to no risk to your young child.
As you can see, there are many remedies for resolving your teething baby’s pain. However, some medications that are not advised. If you notice more crying coming from your baby or if your baby keeps placing their hand on or in their mouth, it’s the peak of teething time. Thus, it’s time that these tips are put to use.