“Teething” is the process in which a child’s teeth begin to grow in and break through the gum line for the first time. Usually, this will occur between 6 and 24 months of age, and can be a painful experience for the child. Children will often put things in their mouth in an effort to reduce the discomfort. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to ease your child’s teething pain.
Keep it Cold
Swollen gums are largely responsible for why children feel discomfort during teething. A cold compress can go a long way towards reducing swelling. Keep a clean, moist washcloth in the fridge and rub it very gently along the baby’s gums. Or, with supervision, allow them to suck on it. You can also buy teething rings that are soft and meant to be put in the fridge. Another option is to put your child’s pacifier in the fridge and give it to them chilled. When chilling teething toys, make sure that you are using the fridge and not freezing them, as extreme temperatures can be harmful to your child.
Rub the Gums
Applying gentle pressure to sore oral tissues can provide your child with some relief. Run a clean, wet finger along the length of your child’s gums, letting them suck on your finger as they please. Just be sure that your hands are freshly cleaned before putting them in your child’s mouth. You may also want to make sure your nails are cut short to prevent accidentally scratching your child’s gums.
Clean up Drool
Drool is a big side effect of teething, and it shouldn’t go overlooked. Always wipe away any excess drool on your child’s chin, cheeks, or anywhere else outside their mouth. When drool dries it can irritate the skin and cause it to dry out, irritating your child. If this happens, use a gentle moisturizer on your child’s chin and cheeks.
There are a variety of medications designed to provide relief for babies. While these solutions can help a child feel less pain for a period of time, they are best used in conjunction with the other remedies provided above. Always be sure to consult your healthcare professional for advice before administering medications to your child.
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