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How to Soothe the Pain of Teething

Teething normally begins anywhere between 3 months and 12 months of age, starting with the two lower front teeth. The lower front teeth are then followed by the upper front teeth 1 to 2 months later. Teeth continue to come in until the child is about 30 months old, which is the age when all 20 primary teeth (also called baby teeth) should be grown in.

Teething is a process that takes time and can be painful for your child. Before a tooth pokes through, the tissue around the tooth can become swollen and sore due to the pressure against the skin of the gum. The pain typically occurs for 3 to 5 days before the tooth cuts through, before disappearing altogether.

Infants who are teething can show the following behavior in reaction to the pain of a new tooth:

  • Bite their fingers or toys
  • Refuse food
  • Become irritable
  • Drool, causing rashes on the chin, face and chest areas
  • Experience difficulty falling asleep

It’s hard for any parent to watch their child suffering each time a new tooth is about to grow in. To help ease the pain and fussiness, the following is a list of suggestions:

  • Mild pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen (use ibuprofen only if the child is older than 6 months).
  • Using your finger or wet gauze, massage your child’s gum for 1 to 2 minutes. This is soothing and can help break down tissues in the gums.
  • Cold helps to decrease pain and inflammation. Giving your child a frozen wet washcloth to chew will help, as it decreases swelling.
  • Distractions such as rocking, swinging, or playing will help to take your child’s mind off of the pain.
  • Orajel is NOT recommended, as it can have unwanted side effects.

Following these tips will help to ease your child’s pain as they teeth. It’s also recommended that you take your child for their first dentist visit within the first six months of their first tooth. A baby develops quickly during their early months of life, so it’s also important that parents keep up with infant care in Glendale and the Valley area. At Pediatrix, we care for your children as if they’re our own. We provide high quality health care specialized for the different stages of your child’s development and are happy to provide parents with answers to any health related questions. Please call (602) 866-0550 or contact us online to learn more about quality and caring infant care in Glendale and the greater Phoenix area.

 

Sincerely,

 

Subir K. Mitra, MD, FAAP

Posted in Blog on November 26th, 2012