What To Avoid When Your Child Is Teething

Taking care of a new child is hard enough without having to worry about what to avoid when your child is teething. But Kid's Choice Dental wants parents to realize that they will get through this phase of their child's life, and all the frustration and waiting will be worth it.

What is teething?

At around six months of age, a baby's first teeth should begin erupting. This process is known as teething. During this time, babies will experience much discomfort, while parents will typically feel powerless and frustrated because they may not understand what's going on or how to soothe their baby. Teething can begin sooner or later than six months, but the feelings a parent has while watching their child go through this change are the same.

What are the signs of teething?

If you notice the following changes in the behavior of your baby, it's possible they are teething.

  • Crying

Crying does not necessarily mean your baby is teething, but it's the most common sign that something is wrong. Babies can't verbalize their pain through words, so they cry. Teething puts pressure on the baby's gums in the weeks leading up to the first tooth eruption, which means crying is usually worse than normal.

  • Biting

In an attempt to counter the pain and pressure, your baby will begin biting and chewing objects. This particular behavior is important for parents to watch carefully so your baby does not stick something in their mouth that they shouldn't.

  • Drooling

Another sign of teething is excessive drooling, which can also cause a rash of the neck, chin, and mouth if parents neglect to regularly wipe it up. Failure to do so will also make teething a more uncomfortable experience.

  • Eating Habits Change

If your baby is refusing to eat, they are either not hungry or their teething pain is making eating difficult. This can be a particularly alarming change if your baby eats regularly, but it's completely normal.

  • Won't Sleep

Unfortunately, teething is a reason why new parents don't get much sleep. The pressure and discomfort from teething don't just occur during the day and stop at bedtime, it lasts through the nights as well.

  • Ear Pulling and Cheek Rubbing

Pulling on their ears and rubbing their cheeks are also major signs of teething, but they can also signal possible infection, so parents should monitor this behavior and take their baby to the doctor if the behavior lasts more than a few days.

How long does teething last?

Teething is a process that doesn't just take a day or two to play out. Your child will have a full set of baby teeth around the age of two or three. That means teething will last that long, but the end result is your child's full smile.

What can I do to relieve my baby's teething pain?

Naturally, parents want to do whatever they can to relieve their child's pain, even take it on themselves if they could. But that's not possible. What is possible is that parents have several options available to try in an effort to make their baby as comfortable as possible during this time.

  • Teething Ring

A cool teething ring gives your baby an object to bite on that has a cooling effect that will reduce pain and swelling. A cool spoon also works.

  • Gum Massage

Massaging your baby's gums with a clean finger can also reduce discomfort, and lets your baby know that you are there for them.

  • Cold Washcloth

A cold washcloth can take the place of a teething ring in a pinch.

  • White Noise

Sometimes, even adults need white noise to fall asleep. If it can work for you, why not your baby? It may not work every time or at all, but it's worth a try.

  • Wipe Away Drool

Excessive drool can make teething worse by causing a rash. Wiping it away will prevent this.

  • Pain Medication

Always check with your doctor or dentist before giving your baby pain medication. That being said, there are over-the-counter pain medications specifically for infants.

What to avoid when your child is teething?

Using effective remedies won't provide much relief unless you avoid certain foods and products as well.

Foods to Avoid

  • Salty foods will only amplify the pain your baby is feeling. It's like throwing salt in an open wound.
  • Spicy foods will irritate your baby's gums, so a blander diet is best while teething.
  • Citrus foods are acidic and will also irritate your baby's gums, so feed them vegetables during this time.
  • Frozen hard foods can be harmful because of extreme temperatures, but popsicles and slushies are fine.

Remedies to Avoid

Parents understandably want to do anything they can to soothe their baby's pain, but that doesn't mean trying just anything. Keeping your baby safe and healthy is your first priority. Using risky products out of desperation will only hurt your child while teething itself is normal and does not pose a health or safety risk in general. We promise that you and your baby will get through this difficult time. Teething will end.

When should I take my child to the dentist?

You would usually take your child to their first dental appointment after the eruption of the first tooth. However,  if you believe your baby is experiencing worse teething symptoms than normal or you suspect an infection, see your dentist earlier.

Contact Kid's Choice Dental Today

Kid's Choice Dental proudly serves King County, Pierce County, and surrounding areas in Washington. Providing dental care to children is our specialty and we are ready to help you learn what to avoid when your child is teething. We use state-of-the-art technology and the most modern techniques to provide the best care possible. To make an appointment, contact our office by calling 253-848-7000 or visit our website today!

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