How to help a child who is teething
Five tips to ease the pain for both children and their parents | help a child who is teething |
How to know if your child is teething
This process begins at about 6 months of age. To avoid confusing it with anything else, look for the following symptoms in your baby:
- Active salivation;
- A tendency to put things in its mouth and chew on things it can get its hands on;
- Unusual irritability, moodiness;
- Swollen, red gums;
- A slight fever of about 37.2 °C.
Some parents try to attribute a higher temperature or, for example, diarrhea to teething. And for nothing. Teething has nothing to do with fever or diarrhea. If you observe these symptoms in your child, be sure to consult your pediatrician. They are likely caused by a medical condition and not by teething.
When to go to the doctor
If your child’s temperature rises to 38°C or higher during teething, or if he is not feeling well – weak, overly anxious, or vomiting – call your pediatrician. The doctor will make a true diagnosis and begin treatment.
How to help a child who is teething
Here are a few ways to help relieve gum pain and itching, as well as prevent facial skin irritation.
1. Massage the gums
Wrap a clean, wet gauze cloth around your finger and rub your child’s gums. In some cases, the pressure helps reduce discomfort. And yes, you don’t have to use a tissue: just make sure you wash your fingers thoroughly with soap and water.
2. Give them something cold to chew on.
For example, a teether filled with cold water. Elastic toys will gently and safely massage your gums, and the low temperature will help reduce swelling and pain. Just don’t use teethers in the form of bracelets or beads made of amber, wood, marble, or silicone. Your baby could injure his or her gums or accidentally swallow them and choke.
3. Give your baby something to chew on
If your child likes food, offer peeled, cooled carrots or cucumbers, these may help massage the gums, too. If you’re worried that your baby might take an extra bite and choke, put a piece of fruit or vegetable in a nibbler, a silicone, or cloth pacifier with holes. The baby will chew it and taste it, but will not be able to swallow dangerous bits.
4. Use a wipe more often.
Teething is always accompanied by active salivation. Saliva on the lips, mouth, and chin can irritate the skin. To avoid this, wet your baby’s face as often as possible with a soft paper towel.
5. Offer a pain reliever
Over-the-counter painkillers – drugs based on paracetamol or ibuprofen – fight teething pain well. But there is an important point: they can only be prescribed after consultation with the pediatrician, who will pay attention to the weight and possible allergic reactions in the child. Even popular and harmless, at first glance, anesthetics in an accidental overdose can have unpleasant side effects.
Do not use homeopathic remedies (they are useless) or ointments that contain benzocaine or lidocaine: they can lead to complications up to and including death. In general, the use of analgesic ointments is an ineffective solution, as they wash out of the child’s mouth in a few minutes.
How to Care for Teeth that have erupted
You should start taking care of your teeth as soon as the first one erupts. There are two reasons for this. First, the tooth is immediately affected by the bacteria that live in the mouth. It needs to be cleaned regularly to prevent the development of cavities. Second, regular care is something your child will quickly accept as normal and you won’t have a problem brushing your teeth in the future.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends any toothbrush with short, soft bristles and a small head for brushing. Ideally, it should be designed specifically for babies. As for toothpaste, use baby fluoride toothpaste in an amount no larger than the size of a grain of rice.
Also, be sure to take your child to the dentist for a checkup. The same American Association of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that you do this even before children are one year old.
The appearance of the first incisors, canines, premolars, and molars is an important stage in the life of an infant that everyone goes through. At this point, it will be the parent’s responsibility to be as caring and supportive as possible so that everything goes as smoothly as possible for the baby.
We have told you what to do if the baby cries when he is teething, and what medicinal and non-medicinal ways can be used to eliminate teething pain in children. If nothing helps, acute symptoms persist for a long time, other warning signs are present, and it is necessary to seek qualified medical help without unnecessary hesitation.