Teething tips and tricks: Ways to alleviate pain that comes with new teeth in infants

No one wants to hear their baby cry in pain. A Camas dentist offers some advice on how to deal with teething. Contributed photo
No one wants to hear their baby cry in pain. A Camas dentist offers some advice on how to deal with teething. Contributed photo

February is National Children’s Oral Health Month

Dr. Ronald Hsu 
for Clark County Today

February is National Children’s Oral Health Month, which means it is a great time to revisit how to help your infant deal with the painful process of teething.Children can start teething as young as 2 to 3 months, though most start at 6 months and they generally have all of their baby teeth fully formed by age 3. While this is an exciting milestone in your little one’s growth, it can also be a time of discomfort for the kids and parents.

Rather than just grin and bear it there are several ways to help children overcome their teething pain and gum soreness.

No one enjoys hearing their baby cry or be in pain, which is why solutions to help ease the discomfort experienced by infants while teething are so important to know. Alleviating your child’s pain in a safe manner is of utmost importance. Talk to your health professionals for ways they can help beyond Do It Yourself methods.

Here are a few teething tips and tricks

Teething Rings: Provide pressure by chewing, which helps alleviate discomfort. Nearly anything can be used for infants to chew on, but rubber rings are best for delicate mouths. Avoid rings which are filled with liquid or made from plastic, as they can develop sharp edges or break. Frozen Otter Pops are another great tool, especially when they are just slightly thawed.

Mouth Cooling: A great way to alleviate soreness in your little one’s mouth is tying a washcloth at one end to create a knot, putting it in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes and then letting your infant chew on it. Avoid putting teething rings in the freezer for too long as it can make the ring too hard for their mouth. If your child is eating solids, then you can also give them a frozen banana or bagel, or cool water in a sippy cup to drink.

Gum Rubbing: Helps ease discomfort by rubbing the area where teeth are coming in. Make sure your finger is clean — or use a washcloth — to gently rub your child’s mouth.

Teething Gels: In general, teething gel or naturopathic tablets that purport to alleviate pain can both be dangerous to infants and are not recommended. Cold temperature is the best remedy, and keeping things clean will reduce inflammation, which helps reduce the pain your child is feeling.

It is also important to make your child’s first dental appointment as soon as teeth start coming in and for sure before your child’s first birthday. Early dentist appointments set a solid foundation for the healthy growth of your child’s baby and adult teeth.…

Dr. Ronald Hsu is a board-certified pediatric dentist in Camas who serves as one of Delta Dental of Washington’s dental spokespersons.

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