Medicine relief for your teething baby
If your baby seems uncomfortable, it may be appropriate to provide a mild pain relieving medication designed especially for infants’ 23 months and younger, such as Infants' TYLENOL® Concentrated Drops. If possible, dose by weight; if not, use your infants’ age. Be sure to consult a doctor for dosing in infants under 4 months of age.
Remember to always follow your doctor’s suggestions, and carefully read and follow the directions on the bottle.
What else you can do
Sometimes pain medication alone isn't enough to take away your child's teething discomfort. It's also important to care for new teeth as they erupt. Here are some tips on how to care for your baby's incoming teeth and sore gums:
- CHEWING CAN HELP NUMB THE PAIN
Let your child chew on a cold teething ring (liquid-filled for younger children; hard or bumpy rubber once your child's molars come in) or a cold piece of celery or washcloth. This can help to numb some of the pain and at the same time help teeth break through the surface of the gums.
- DO NOT INTERVENE WITH THE NATURAL TEETHING PROCESS
Avoid rubbing or cutting your child's gums to try and speed up the teething process. This will only cause more discomfort and possibly infection.
- MAKE SURE NOTHING IS AROUND YOUR CHILD’S NECK
Never tie a teething ring or pacifier around your baby's neck, as the chord could present a safety hazard for your child.
- TEETHING RINGS ARE A BETTER OPTION THAN PACIFIERS
If you are using a pacifier when your child begins to teeth, switch to a teething ring. Children can chew the end of the pacifier, which could get stuck in their throat.
- AVOID FEEDING YOUR BABY JUICES OR COOKIES
Avoid soothing your baby by letting him or her suck on a bottle filled with juice or a pacifier dipped in juice or honey, or chew on cookies, especially at bedtime. This can cause tooth decay. If your baby needs a bottle during the night, fill it with water instead.
- LIMIT THE AMOUNT OF SUGAR
Also try to limit the amount of sugar you give your child in general by restricting sugary foods to mealtimes.
- START BRUSHING AS TEETH ERUPT
As teeth erupt, use a soft baby toothbrush and a small amount of toothpaste.
When to call your doctor
Children teethe for two or three years, so they will probably come down with illnesses along the way. Don’t ignore symptoms of something more serious. It may not be teething that is causing the symptoms.
Teething does not cause fevers, diarrhea and rashes – or any kind of flu symptoms. If these symptoms are present while your child is teething it is likely a coincidence and your child should be seen by a doctor.
If your baby has a high fever, is clutching their face or ear, is in distress or is very uncomfortable for more than a days, play it safe and call your doctor. Illness isn't a normal part of teething.
Consulting a dentist
It shouldn't take more than a couple of weeks for a tooth to erupt once it is near the surface of the gum. If you're noticing swelling or discoloration and your baby seems to be in a great deal of pain you should take him or her to see a dentist.
Things you should know
If you are breastfeeding. Although no one enjoys being bitten, teething should not stop your child from being breastfed. If your baby bites, remove him or her from the breast and say "no" firmly. After a few times, even a tiny baby will learn not to bite.
Eruption cysts or eruption haematoma. Sometimes children will develop a blue or clear swelling where a tooth is trying to break through the gums called an eruption cyst or eruption haematoma (pronounced: hee-ma-TOE-ma). This happens because blood vessels break over the tooth that is trying to erupt and leak blood just under the skin. Although a cyst will delay tooth eruption, no treatment is required. This condition should clear up as the tooth surfaces.
Born with teeth. Some babies are born with a few teeth already erupted. This is not a cause for concern.
Finding a dentist. Find a dentist who enjoys working with children and your child will be happy to be there. Regular dental visits should start no later than three years of age. Some dentists prefer seeing children around age one and others like to wait until a child's primary teeth have erupted.