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Sometimes the first sign that our little ones are teething are late nights spent comforting them to no avail. When they spend their days and nights chewing on anything they can find this should alert you to the fact that those first teeth are cutting through.

Usually, teething starts between 4-6 months of age, beginning with the two middle bottom and upper teeth.  The drooling and crankiness can make it hard for everyone to get rest.  Below are some teething tips to soothe your baby, care for their teeth, and finally get the rest you both need.

Gum Soothing Tips for Baby

  • A good rub down – When their gums are sore, use a clean finger or wet gauze to rub the baby’s gums.
  • Cool them down – Place a bib on your baby and let them chew on a cold, solid plastic teething ring or a cold, wet washcloth. Soak a clean washcloth in water and let it cool in the freezer for about an hour.  Keep teething rings as dry as possible.
  • Over-the-counter help – As a last resort, try an infant’s OTC pain meds like acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
  • Keep calm – Our little ones can pick up on our stress- just focus on keeping them comfortable.

Remedies to Avoid

We want to try everything we can to keep them happy but it’s important to care for your baby safely.  Here are some things to avoid:

  • Teething jewelry – Although they can be cute, teething jewelry can pose risks of infection, choking, and injury to the mouth.
  • Homeopathic teething tablets – These tablets contain belladonna which can cause agitation, diarrhea, breathing problems, and seizures.
  • Topical numbing agents – Drool tends to wash these type of medicines away. They also contain benzocaine or lidocaine which can cause dangerous side effects in infants.

How to Care for Baby Teeth as They Come In

It’s very important to care for baby teeth as your child will need them as placeholders until their permanent teeth come in later in life.

  • As the first teeth are erupting, clean baby’s gums twice a day with a soft, clean cloth to avoid bacteria buildup.
  • When the teeth have come in, begin using a soft toothbrush twice a day. Only use a rice-grain size spot of toothpaste until the child can spit on their own.
  • Maintain regular dental checkups. Your child’s first appointment should be as soon as their first birthday or when the first tooth breaks through.

It’s amazing to watch new milestones occur in your baby’s life, but getting their first teeth can be disruptive. If you follow these tips to care for your infant’s gums and teeth as they start to erupt, you can make it easier on them (and hopefully get better sleep for yourself). Remember that fevers and rashes are not part of teething, so call your pediatrician if you notice these things happening.

Give Cumberland Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics a call or visit us online to schedule your little one’s first dental appointment! It’s important to start a positive relationship with a dentist as early as possible.  This will help set the right tone for your child’s dental care as they grow into adulthood. We have the technology and dental expertise to create anxiety-free dental care for kids. We’d love to be your child’s dental home!

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