Your baby was born with all 20 primary teeth below their gumline. They typically start to come through between 6 and 12 months. Children usually have their full set of baby teeth in place by age 3. During this time, many new parents call our office with questions about baby teething remedies to get through what can be a very difficult time. It can be frustrating for parents to watch their child suffer through this process. Unfortunately, teething is a necessary part of life.
Plain and simple, this is not a comfortable experience for a baby, they will not like it, and they are likely to be incredibly fussy while teething. Furthermore, drooling, loss of appetite, and trouble sleeping may add to the irritable symptoms of teething, but don’t worry, there is hope.
A Few Steps a Parent Can Take To Ease Their Baby’s Discomfort
1. Give them ibuprofen or Tylenol (acetaminophen)
As long as parents give a baby the recommended dose (approved by their doctor), it is safe to give a child ibuprofen or Tylenol (acetaminophen). We only recommend this if the teething discomfort is severe, but it certainly can be helpful. Ibuprofen is typically better than Tylenol because it helps to reduce inflammation and swelling in addition to reducing pain. Just be careful to use the medication only as directed by a medical professional and when absolutely necessary. Liquid solutions are recommended as they are easier to swallow.
2. Use Cold Items In the Mouth
Just like ice can help to relieve muscle pain and tension in adults, ice can relieve pain in virtually everyone. This is because when ice or something very cold comes in contact with the body, it will numb the nerve endings and prevent the sensation of pain. Parents should use cold frequently to help reduce teething pain.
Baby teething rings (rubber teether), cold spoon, popsicles and other cold foods, or simply freezing a wet rag can be something that the baby can bite down on to help relieve their discomfort. As they do, the gums will become numb and they should begin to feel better. Even applying pressure by rubbing the gums with a moist gauze pad or smooth finger can provide some soothing relieve.
Be cautious of what you put in your infants mouth, avoiding lead, liquid filled teethers, and other potentially poisonous or dirty objects.
3. Only Use a Numbing Agent Under the Care of a Professional
Baby Orajel, Orajel, Orabase, Anbesol, and Hurricane are just a few numbing agents containing benzocaine that can be effective for reducing pain in the gums of adults and children. However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not recommend its use with individuals under the age of 2 years old unless it is under the care of a health care professional, such as a dentist or pediatrician. Although rare, swallowing too much of these benzocaine containing products can cause disorders that are not worth the benefit of using them.
Be Cautious With Homeopathic Remedies
At our dental office, we get a lot of questions from parents who read about various homeopathic teething remedies online and would like to try them with their children. These include such products as honey, turmeric, whiskey, and teething tablets with the intention to reduce pain. We want to advise parents to be incredibly cautious about these home remedies and not to try them without speaking to a health care professional.
Homeopathic teething tablets are not recommended due to some containing a toxic product belladonna. Honey, for example, has been known to cause allergic reactions, and turmeric could cause a bad reaction due to strength. Whiskey and other alcohols are obviously not recommended for children as no amount is safe for their bodies. These remedies may be safe to try on adults, but babies are incredibly sensitive and most pediatricians have a set schedule for when they want parents to introduce foods, let alone these home remedies directly on their gums. However, some substances, such as chamomile and clove oil, rubbed on the gums in small doses is safe and effective to help relieve teething pain.
Remember, Teething Does Not Last Forever
It is important to have baby teething remedies on hand but also to know that this will pass. A baby is typically only going to be in extreme pain for a few days to a week. Afterward, they should begin to feel better. While that can seem like forever to a parent, and understandably so, in the scheme of things, it is important to remember that the teething process is going to come and go so just to hang in there.
We help parents on a regular basis by ensuring that children are in good oral health. We can even help with baby’s that are teething. Sometimes it is nice to speak with a professional to ensure that everything is happening as it should.
We can sometimes conduct a quick examination and even help children along. Request an appointment in our Aurora dental office here: https://auroracodentist.com. To learn more about this and other reasons that visiting a dentist early is good for your child, call us at 303-219-2055 for more information from Highpoint Dental Care.