Your infant will usually let you know when his or her first teeth begin to emerge. The process can be extremely uncomfortable for some babies, yet others may not express any discomfort at all. Most, however, are somewhere in the middle, with bouts of irritability that can be as difficult for the parent as it is for the child. With experience in helping young children cope with their dental issues, family dentist, Dr. Jessica Johnson, offers a few tips to help ease your infant’s teething time, for your benefit as well as your child’s.
Help Ease the Teething Process
- As the first tooth emerges, your child will drool a lot. Be sure to keep a soft, clean towel handy to keep your child’s face dry and avoid a rash. You may consider giving your child a teething bib, or changing shirts if they become soaked.
- Cold and pressure will help relieve the discomfort of teeth erupting through the gum line. Good edible choices include frozen bananas and big chunks of cold carrot or apple. Once a few teeth have grown in, your child will be able to bite off small chunks of food (or anything, for that matter), and choking can become a hazard. Ask Dr. Johnson or your child’s physician for examples of safe cold foods you can give your child once his or her teeth grow in.
- Teething rings are also an effective option. For cold teething rings, be sure not to allow it to freeze solid. You don’t want to bruise your baby’s already swollen gums.
- Allowing your baby to gnaw on your finger is a fun parent-child bonding experience. The pressure can ease your baby’s discomfort, and gnawing on the soft texture of skin can help coax the teeth through the gums.
- One of the most popular home-remedy options for a teething infant is a frozen washcloth or hand towel. Wash the towel after each use. Some parents prefer to soak the towel in chamomile tea for extra soothing properties. For enhanced chewing pleasure, tie one end of the towel in a knot before freezing. Consider keeping a few similar towels in a plastic bag in the freezer, so you’ll always have one ready.
- As discomforting as teething can be, the process does not cause fever or any other sickness. If your child develops a fever, cough, or any other symptom of illness (other than mild discomfort, which is expected), contact your child’s physician immediately.
ABOUT YOUR WEST DES MOINES FAMILY DENTIST:
To learn more, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jessica Johnson, contact Valley Ridge Family Dental today at (515) 327-62230. Located in West Des Moines, we proudly serve patients from West Des Moines, Waukee, Urbandale, Clive, and the surrounding communities.