Pediatric dentistry is an area of dentistry that focuses on the oral health of children. Starting good dental hygiene habits early in life is important. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states, more than 50% of children under the age of nine have had at least one cavity in their baby teeth, and…
Pediatric Dental Tips to Relieve Your Baby’s Teething Pain
Pediatric dental tips can come in handy when you have a baby who is teething. This process can be an uncomfortable time for your little one. It can also be a difficult time for you. The tiny gums of an infant experience swelling and tenderness as the emerging primary teeth begin to break through the surface. If you want to learn more about relieving teething pain, here are some pediatric dental tips to consider.
Pediatric dental tips for teething babies
Teething can become grueling for some babies and parents. That is why it is necessary to keep the baby comfortable. Even if the eruption of baby teeth is natural, it is still painful to kids. With the recent FDA warning against lidocaine, it is important to seek out other pediatric dental tips for helping manage a baby’s tender, swollen gums.
Massage the gums
Parents can gently rub the infant’s tender gums with a clean finger or a soft cloth. This can help reduce some of the pain related to teething. The slight pressure on the gums can relieve the discomfort and soreness. Gum massage is an easy and quick way to make the child more comfortable.
Picking out a teething ring
Dentists will recommend that parents find a teething ring that the baby likes. It can take some experimentation to find one that is the right size, shape, and color. A baby may prefer one type over another, so parents are encouraged to try different pediatric dental options. Solid rubber teething rings are preferred as liquid teething rings can sometimes break.
Keep it cold, not frozen
Some parents like to give babies a cold washcloth or a cold teething ring. It is a good idea to stick to an option that is cold but not frozen. The gums of a baby are extremely sensitive, and frozen objects can damage them. If a parent has put a freezing ring in the freezer, dentists will recommend letting it thaw a bit first.
Use cold foods
As the baby reaches an age where solid foods are introduced, it is crucial for the baby to have healthy teeth. That is why teething must happen smoothly. Offering chunks of cold vegetables to chew on can ease gum pain and swelling. Parents should always watch the baby while chewing. This is to make sure that there is no chance of big pieces breaking off. A mesh feeder will allow the infant to taste the food without the risk of choking.
Keep a clean cloth in reach
When a baby is teething, it can result in a lot of drooling. The excess saliva can irritate the infant’s chin and neck if left there to dry. Parents should keep a soft cloth within reach to dab away the saliva. Applying a cream will serve as a barrier on the baby’s skin. This will protect the baby’s skin from rashes due to dried saliva.
Remember that teething is not an illness
Teething is a normal part of a baby’s growth and milestones. Teething may induce a low fever as well as causing irritability and fussiness. Parents should watch for high fevers as these can indicate that the child is sick. It is important to check with pediatricians if the baby has a high temperature that lasts for too long.
When teething starts
Although rare, infants can be born with erupted baby teeth. Some start having baby teeth by four months old. Others go through teething after the first birthday. Most babies start the teething process at about six months.
Some baby teeth erupt without causing any discomfort. This is an ideal situation for children and parents. Unfortunately, it does not happen this way for all children. Below are the common symptoms of teething:
- Failure to sleep well
- Redness and soreness of the gum area
- Increased fearfulness
- A mild temperature elevation at 38°C
- More frequent chewing and gnawing
- Having a flushed cheek
- Ear rubbing
- Excessive drooling
- Facial rash
Teething tablets and numbing gels
Numbing gels have been associated with methemoglobinemia, which reduces the oxygen the blood carries throughout the body. The FDA does not approve these products for teething. Teething tablets have also found evidence that homeopathic teething tablets have irregular amounts of belladonna, which is toxic. The bodies of young children react in an unpredictable way. It generally puts children at risk. Children who experience lethargy, constipation, seizures, or difficulty urinating after using these teething products must seek proper medical care right away.
Set regular pediatric dental visits at a young age
Once your child’s first tooth has popped through, it is important to start seeing a dentist. If the child is over a year old, the first appointment should be made. The dentist can recommend other pediatric dental tips to make sure the teething process goes as smoothly as possible. If you have any pediatric dental questions, do not be afraid to reach out and ask for advice.
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