With the holidays approaching, we all need our sleep to keep our spirits high. When your little one is up in the middle of the night with sore, swollen gums, holiday cheer seems anywhere but near. If you’ve spent one too many nights wondering, “how can I comfort my teething baby?” we here at Affiliated Dentists in Madison, Wisconsin have a few tips and tricks to soothe your baby’s poor gums and give the gift to all–in your house–a good night!
- Teething Symptoms
- Cold Gums, Warm Heart
- Stick to Your Schedule
- Pain Relief Before Eruption
Teething usually starts around six months but can begin anywhere from three to twelve months. Any parent is well aware of the symptoms: fussiness, crying, tender gums, and drooling are some of the more common complaints.
By the time your baby is nineteen months old, she will be the proud owner of twelve teeth. She’ll have four more by the age of two. That’s a lot of hard work!
Cold Gums, Warm Heart
Help ease your baby’s teething pain by applying some type of cold compress. Cold works to soothe painful gums by reducing blood flow to the area. This reduces inflammation and swelling, which causes pain. Cold also temporarily numbs the area, reducing pain.
Keep a stash of frozen soothers in the freezer so that you have them at the ready in the middle of the night. Dip a few pacifiers in water and place them in the freezer. You can also dampen and freeze a soft cloth or teething toys for your baby to suck or chomp on.
During the day, serve chilled food to help soothe any discomfort. Keep foods like applesauce, yogurt, and fruit purees in the fridge for healthy, soothing nutrition. Fill a mesh food feeder with cold pieces of fruit. Or make your own fruit, smoothie, or breastmilk pop with a teething popsicle mold. Wipe off your baby’s teeth and gums after feeding to prevent cavities.
Stick to Your Schedule
When your baby’s up in the middle of the night, you’d do anything to get him back to sleep. However, resist the urge to feed him if it’s not his normal feeding time. Offering extra snacks at night might create a habit of awaking that lingers long after the teething pain has faded.
Instead, offer a chilled bottle of water. This will help bring some relief without being interesting enough to become habit forming. Hold and rock your baby with the aim of getting him back to sleep. Avoid letting him get up to play to take his mind off things.
Pain Relief Before Eruption
Most of the time, teething pain is usually experienced as a dull ache. However, in the days leading up to eruption, when the tooth finally breaks through the surface of the gum, the discomfort can be more intense.
If your baby is experiencing particularly painful gums, you can offer a pain reliever, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Discomfort on this level shouldn’t last for more than a few days before or after the tooth has erupted. If your child has experienced prolonged symptoms, check with your pediatrician to make sure the symptoms aren’t being caused by a separate issue.
The American Dental Association recommends that your child visit the dentist after his first tooth erupts but no later than his first birthday. If we can help your baby’s teeth stay strong and healthy, please schedule an appointment with us today. Affiliated Dentists offers pediatric dentistry in Madison, Wisconsin.
How Can I Comfort My Teething Baby? brought to you by Dr. Mark Gustavson