Dentists treat patients of all ages, starting with babies. Because of this, it is common for Dr. Sharma to receive questions about teething babies, including how to comfort your child. You can’t explain the teething to your baby, as they are still too young to understand your explanation. So, what can you do to help?
Start by Understanding Teething
Before you can comfort your teething baby, you should have a better idea of what to expect. You probably already know that teething occurs when your baby’s teeth start to break through the gums. This usually happens between 6 and 24 months.
Some of the symptoms of teething include swollen and tender gums and irritability. Your baby will also likely place his fingers or other objects in his mouth to soothe the discomfort. Other symptoms include excessive drooling and a slightly higher temperature that is not a fever. If you aren’t positive your baby is teething, their dentist or pediatrician can confirm.
Take Care of Your Baby’s Mouth
Whether or not your child is currently teething, you should always make sure to take care of their mouth. This will set them up for good oral hygiene habits in the future. Fluoride can be helpful in low doses at about six months, and it is conveniently in most tap water.
As soon as your baby gets the first tooth, start caring for it by brushing the teeth daily. Use child-friendly toothpaste in minimal quantities.
Over-the-counter Pain Relief Can Help
In many cases, babies will experience relief from the pain related to teething with an over-the-counter remedy. It is important, however, that you ensure you use a child-friendly formula. Either acetaminophen or ibuprofen should help, but it must be a version for children. Remember that babies need a significantly smaller dose than adults, and consuming too much could be bad for their health.
While these over-the-counter treatments work, you don’t want to rely on them overly much. After all, it is not typically healthy for anyone, adult or child, to regularly use these medicines.
Rub the Gums
We already mentioned that most teething babies try to put their fingers or other items in their mouth to soothe their gums. You can help with this. Clean your finger and gently rub it on the gums to give your baby relief.
Use a Cool Teething Ring
You can also offer your baby something to bite down on, like a teething ring. For even better relief, try chilling the teething ring slightly beforehand, but don’t let it get completely frozen. This can provide even more soothing.
Know What to Avoid
In addition to the above tips, you should also know what remedies to avoid. Don’t use homeopathic teething tablets or other over-the-counter medications that have not been lab-tested and proven. In the best case, they will be ineffective. In the worst case, they will contain harmful ingredients. Belladonna, an herb that can cause breathing problems and seizures, is a known issue. You should also avoid any teething medication with lidocaine or benzocaine, as they can seriously harm your baby. Also, avoid any teething bracelets or necklaces, as they are a choking hazard.
If you are worried about your baby’s teeth contact our family dentist in River West Chicago today!