Teething babies may experience pain as their first set of teeth makes its appearance between the ages of 4 and 7 months. By age 3, most children have all 20 initial baby teeth in place. Along the way, they may have periods of crankiness as a result of discomfort from rupturing gums. Follow these tips in an effort to decrease the baby’s distress while teething.
As the tooth pushes its way up, applying counter-pressure can ease the radiating twinges in the fussy baby. Wash your hands and rub the affected gums with your finger. Give the baby a child-safe teething toy to hold and bite. You can also brush the gums with water and a soft-bristled baby toothbrush.
Offer Cold Food and Drinks
Cold food, drinks or teething toys can numb the area and provide much-needed relief for a baby in pain. If the child is over 6 months of age, offer cold water in a bottle or sippy cup. Place frozen fruit in a mesh food holder, but watch closely so no large chunks break free and pose a choking hazard. Another trick is placing a wet washcloth in the freezer for a few minutes then allowing the baby to gnaw on the edges.
Keep Their Faces Clean
Some teething discomfort is related to drool, one of the main accompanying teething symptoms. Excessive drooling or running mucus can cause the child’s cheeks and mouth to become chapped and sore. Keep a dry cloth on hand to wipe away moisture and apply a baby-safe cream to cracked, inflamed skin.
Use Over-the-Counter Medication
If teething pain is waking your child up at night, consult with your pediatrician and administer an over-the-counter pain reliever like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Your children’s age and weight should be carefully considered before they are given any liquid pain reliever. Shy away from any teething gels or pain reliever with benzocaine, as this substance has been known to cause reduced blood oxygen levels in children, sometimes with fatal consequences.
Does Your Baby Need Medical Attention?
While many physical symptoms accompany infant tooth development, certain ailments are not caused by rupturing teeth and may require medical attention. Most physicians claim elevated body temperature is not a side effect of teething, but many parents report low-grade fevers during rough teething periods. If the child’s temperature stays elevated for more than three days in a row or rises above 101 degrees F, contact a pediatrician. Other continuous symptoms, including diarrhea and rashes, should be assessed by a medical professional.
Teething is an important milestone in every child’s development, and parents can contact Oak Hills Dentistry for more information on how to comfort a teething baby and perform infant oral care.