Mar 24, 2015 - 11:03 AM EST | Posted under: Pediatric Dentistry
If your baby is experiencing sore gums or other teething symptoms, it can keep both of you awake at night. The emergence of baby teeth often begins at about six months of age, and it can be stressful and uncomfortable. Fortunately, there are effective ways to ease your baby’s teething pain. First, it’s important to recognize the symptoms. Irritability and sore, tender gums are typical. Your baby may also drool excessively and bite or chew on solid objects. While some people may claim that fever or diarrhea occurs during teething, researchers say this is not the case.
7 Tips for Soothing Your Child’s Sore Gums
- Provide a teething ring made from firm rubber. Avoid using the liquid-filled type; these can easily break when your baby chews them.
- If sucking on a bottle seems to alleviate symptoms, fill one with cool water. Prolonged contact with sugary beverages, milk, or formula can promote tooth decay.
- Use your finger, a moist gauze pad, or a damp cloth to gently rub your baby’s gums. The pressure relieves discomfort.
- Keep a cloth handy to wipe away excess drool, which can irritate your baby’s chin.
- If your baby has started eating solid foods, give him or her something firm to gnaw such as a chilled, peeled carrot. Watch your baby carefully since broken pieces can present a choking hazard.
- Keep your baby’s gums cool with a cold cloth. Avoid giving your baby frozen objects; extreme cold can be harmful.
- If conservative measures aren’t having the desired effect, try giving your baby acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Avoid topical pain relievers containing benzocaine; these are associated with methemoglobinemia, a serious condition that causes decreased blood oxygen levels.
How Can My Pediatric Dentist Help?
Most symptoms caused by newly arriving baby teeth can be managed at home. However, call your pediatric dentist if your child develops extreme pain, fever, or other signs of illness. To ensure that new baby teeth stay healthy, clean them using your finger and a soft, moist cloth. See your pediatric dentist regularly for checkups.