Teething can be a challenging time for infants and their parents. As new teeth erupt through the soft gingival tissue starting around six months of age, a child may exhibit aggravation and a sense of discomfort. A teething baby instinctively puts objects in her mouth. Biting down on the object eases the tenderness of swollen gums. If you are living with a teething infant, there are a few things you can do to help.
Many children welcome gentle rubbing of their gums when they are teething. If you try this, use a wet, clean finger, and apply light pressure as you run your finger along the gums. If your child’s teeth have not broken through the gums, you may even let him bite down as he pleases. Keep in mind that your nails should be short if you wish to ease teething in this manner.
If you have ever been in pain, you may have wanted to use ice or a cold pack to relieve your discomfort. The brain processes cold over pain, so chilling a soft, moist cloth for your child to chomp on is an excellent way to override the discomfort of teething. It is also possible to relax a teething ring or other appropriate aide that appeals to your child.
You shouldn’t freeze:
- Edible treats. Although a popsicle may sound like an unusual treat for the teething child, it’s possible that this or other frozen snacks will be too cold, and will further aggravate sensitive oral tissues. The sugar content in some treats is also detrimental to oral health, inviting bacteria to grow and deposit their acidic byproduct on soft enamel.
- Teething toys or cloth. While these aides are intended for cooling irritated gums, they are meant to be refrigerated, not frozen. The edges of teething toys could become rigid, presenting a risk of injury to the tongue or soft tissues when chewed.
Attending to drool
Babies who are teething tend to drool quite a bit. It may seem like you’re wiping the drool off your child’s chin, neck, and chest every few minutes. However, this is a better alternative to drool drying on her skin. Dried saliva can cause skin dryness and irritation, something a teething child needs no more of.
Do you have questions about your child’s oral health? Give us a call at (855) 422-0224 . We’re here to help.