Nothing is cuter than a smiling baby flashing their first tooth. But for the baby, this phase can be quite traumatizing. For parents, it’s harder to see their little ones suffer from discomfort and pain day after day until they sprout their full set of teeth.
Babies usually cut their first teeth around 6 months of age. This is accompanied by painful gums, mouth sensitivity and feeding disruptions. Your little one may wake through all odd hours of the night, disrupting your sleep too. Until the full set of 20 teeth find a place in their mouth, your little baby may continue to experience discomfort, usually until the age of 2. If you find your 6-month-old drooling, gnawing, irritable or wailing often, be prepared with a few tips to help soothe their swollen gums.
Anything cold helps ease the inflammation. Place pacifiers, teething rings or clean gauze in the fridge until they are comfortably cold, then place it in their mouth. Use the cold gauze to gently wipe their gums before inserting the cold teething ring. Cold foods or items can reduce discomfort and pain for a temporary period. Refrain from placing frozen fruits in a mesh feeding bag or freezing the teething ring. The excessive cold and hard surface of frozen items can hurt your baby’s soft, sensitive gums.
Your teething baby will be looking for things to chew on to soothe irritation. Give hard foods that are safe for them such as baby rusks, cold bagels, carrots or bananas. Frozen bananas and bagels can be dangerous if they break off into little chunks in your baby’s mouth and choke them. Make sure they are the right temperature.
Avoid teething rings that are filled with a numbing gel. Over the counter teething rings containing benzocaine can leak into their mouths. Whatever you put in, keep a close eye when they are chewing on it to avoid accidental choking. Never hang teething necklaces around a baby’s neck as it can wind around the neck and cause strangulation. Tie it around their wrist instead.
It’s natural to find your baby drooling when they are cutting their first teeth. A bib will protect the clothes but change it to fresh ones when one it is soiled. Use a clean, soft cloth to wipe away the drool from time to time. A water-based moisturizer will reduce skin irritation from frequent wiping. A cold moist washcloth or gauze does wonders to soothe tender gums and remove bacteria. Don’t forget to wash your hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap before you insert your fingers into their mouth at any time.
Pain Relief Medications
There are over-the-counter medications available to relieve gum pain and discomfort. But never use aspirin or apply crushed aspirin on your baby’s gums. It can lead to Reye’s syndrome in children under 19, a condition that can be fatal.
Try ibuprofen or acetaminophen after consulting your pediatrician about the dosage. If your baby continues to refuse food or cry incessantly, or if you observe diarrhea, fever, rash or continued difficulty in sleeping, visit a dentist at once.
Appleby Dental: Serving Burlington, Oakville, Hamilton, Mississauga
We are a one-stop dental clinic committed to offering the best care for your baby and your entire family. We believe that during the teething time, nothing can replace some extra love, hugs and cuddles to distract your baby from the discomfort. If your baby’s pain disrupts your peace of mind for days on end, schedule an appointment with us. Our committed team of dental professionals will assess your child’s needs and develop a long-term care program to assure dental health now and always. New patients and referrals are welcome! Call us today.