Do you have a little one that just can’t get any relief from teething? When a teething ring to chew on just doesn’t get the job done, you may have to take some different steps to make sure your baby isn’t in too much pain.
It may seem easy to do a quick online search for holistic remedies and mom-approved tricks, but teething remedies should be recommended by a dentist to ensure they are safe for your baby. Luckily, we found some of the best teething remedies that dentists recommend.
The Symptoms Of Teething
Unsure if your baby is suffering from pain related to teething? A teething baby will typically exhibit these symptoms:
- Mild irritability
- Inability to sleep
- Lack of appetite
- Excessive drooling
- Swelling of the gums
Teething Quick Fixes To Avoid
It may be appealing to give your baby medical pain relievers. Not only is this usually unnecessary, but it could also be damaging to your baby’s health.
Acetaminophen, known commercially as Tylenol, has been linked to asthma in young children and administering a correct dosage for a small child can be difficult and risky. Ibuprofen, an alternative to acetaminophen, is only advised to be administered to a baby over six months of age. The FDA has not approved ibuprofen use for children under six months.
Teething is a very healthy and common occurrence in young children, and the pain is usually very mild and does not last long. The use of even mild painkillers is relatively unnecessary, unless advised by a doctor or dentist.
Teething gels are another popular choice among parents with particularly fussy teethers. However, dentistry professor Dr. William Wathen spoke against this in an interview with Health Day: “Many teething gels contain benzocaine. This ingredient can be harmful to babies if they swallow it, which is very likely if it’s on their gums.”
Some teething gels and medications may even contain the plant toxin belladonna, which the FDA staunchly warned against due to dangerous side effects.
The Best Teething Remedies Recommended By Dentists
These tried and true teething remedies are recommended by dentists all over the country. The American Academy of Pediatrics also approves these teething remedies as well.
Start with a teething ring.
This method of reducing teething pain is very common, and for good reason. It usually helps relieve baby teething pain substantially.
A firm teething ring can allow your baby to apply pressure to their gums, which will help provide relief and encourage those little teeth to pop through the gums. Make sure your teething ring is made from a firm rubber and isn’t flimsy.
Refrigerating your baby’s teething ring can also provide additional comfort and relief. Just don’t freeze it– chewing on a frozen teething ring can be harmful to your baby’s gums.
Give your baby a gum massage.
If you don’t have a teething ring handy, you could always try giving your baby’s gums a good massage.
With a clean disinfected finger, gently rub your baby’s gums. Like we mentioned before, don’t opt for teething gels or topical medication. A gentle massage with your finger should help provide pressure to your baby’s gums and give them some relief. But watch your fingertips: your baby can accidentally bite you, and it might hurt!
Try a mesh feeder with cold foods.
If your baby is over six months of age or so, mesh feeders could be a good option.
Mesh feeders are small mesh bags attached to a ring. You can fill the bag with cool foods, such as fresh-out-of-the-fridge fruits.
Baby will chew on the mesh bag, allowing only soft and safe chunks of food to pass through the holes of the bag. This will not only help your baby get some teething relief, but it will also help them get used to new food.
Try a vibrating teething ring.
This relatively new option for teething babies is becoming very popular. Vibrating teething rings are just what they sound like– vibrating baby toys typically made from rubber that activates a gentle vibrating setting whenever your baby bites down on it.
Be sure the vibrating baby toy you choose is specifically designed for teething, just in case the materials aren’t fit to go into your baby’s mouth.
Try a baby toothbrush.
That’s right, baby toothbrushes are a thing! There are many brands out there that offer “baby’s first toothbrush” products that have extra soft bristles that gentle massage baby’s gums without being too abrasive.
It’s important to remember that baby toothbrushes should NOT be left alone with your baby, due to choking hazards. When your baby is fussing, try cradling them and holding the toothbrush near their mouth so they are inclined to chew.
The good old washcloth trick.
If you don’t want to buy an unnecessary amount of products for your child, the best dentist-approved do-it-yourself trick is to use a washcloth.
Take a clean washcloth and dip one of the corners in clean water. Chill the washcloth in the fridge, then give it to your baby folded up. The washcloth will act as a teething device that will help provide your baby with some relief. Best of all, it’s already in your cabinet!
Change up your bottles.
Teething pain can cause poor appetite in babies. If your baby is rejecting food, try changing their normal bottle with a new one.
Using a bottle to help relieve teething pain is also a great idea. Just make sure the bottle is filled with water when baby is using it for teething, as excess milk or formula around the gums can lead to premature tooth decay.
Take a trip to the dentist.
If none of these teething remedies seem to soothe your baby’s problem, it may be time to visit your family dentist.
Sometimes teething can be so severe that it can actually give your baby a fever. If nothing seems to help, a quality certified dentist can offer options to help relieve your baby’s pain.
Visiting us is also a good idea if you’re in need of more teething tips or dental care guidance for the whole family.