A pediatric dentist will be among the first to tell you that teething is not a convenient period for children, as their developing gums get tender and swollen as the teeth erupt through the gums. With the recent warning from the FDA regarding the use of lidocaine for teething children, a child’s dentist offers a few tips for managing this crucial stage of your child’s life.
Tips for managing your child's teething process
1. Massage sore gums
Rub their sore gums gently using a soft cloth or clean finger to reduce the teething pain. Your child will feel significant relief from soreness and more comfortable when you rub the gums. The process also reduces the number of bacteria and inflammation.
2. Get a suitable teething ring
Ideally, you should only buy teeth rings that are manufactured from solid rubber, not liquid-filled rings because they can break or leak. Try different varieties of teething rings until your baby picks their favorite.
3. Keep things cool, not frozen
Parents often give their babies cold washcloths or teething rings that have been kept in the freezer. It is better to use them cold and not frozen, as the baby’s gums are highly sensitive and frozen materials may cause more harm than good. A pediatrist dentist would suggest that a cold pacifier, spoon or teeth ring can help relieve pain.
4. Offer cold foods
If your child has started eating solid foods, you can consider giving them sizable bites of cold vegetables to gnaw on. It is crucial that you monitor your baby and note that they are prone to choking because they may be able to tear off small pieces. The best option to use mesh feeders that allows babies to taste foods without the risk of choking.
5. Always keep a clean cloth around
Teething is often accompanied by excess drooling that can cause irritation to the baby’s neck and chin when it dries off on their skin. Keep a soft cloth close to gently clean away the saliva and keep the child’s skin clean. You can also minimize skin irritation by using water-based moisturizer.
6. Take medications that can help
If you cannot seem to calm your child with the different methods, you could consult the child’s doctor about over-the-counter painkillers. This could be acetaminophen or ibuprofen, depending on the child’s age, but ask the pediatrician concerning the correct dosage. Avoid using aspirin, and try not to crush or rub it on your child’s gums. It can put children below age 19 at the risk of Reye’s syndrome, which can be fatal.
7. Take the child to a pediatric dentist
According to dental experts, you should take your child to the dental office upon teeth eruption or on reaching age one, depending on which comes first. If you have a teething child, the dentist will be able to answer your questions.
Teething is a natural phenomenon and should not come with symptoms of illness beyond the irregular mild or low temperature (below 38.3 degrees Celsius or 101 degrees Fahrenheit). The child may be somewhat irritable when teething, but any high fever would be due to an unrelated infection, not teething. Contact your pediatric dentist or doctor if you notice any abnormal changes in your child’s condition.
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