Remedies for Teething

A teething baby can make everyone in your home feel a little cranky. Erupting teeth cause pain, drooling and discomfort when gums become sore and tender. The first tooth generally appears about six months following birth, according to the American Dental Association, although teething symptoms can begin months earlier. When symptoms do occur, home remedies can be effective in easing your baby’s pain and discomfort.

Teething Items

Cold items such as chilled rubber teething rings and frozen washcloths help relieve pain when your baby gums and chews on the items. The Mayo Clinic recommends chilling teething rings, but not freezing them. Frozen teething rings can become too hard and not pliable enough for chewing. Any items placed in the mouth should be washed frequently in warm soapy water. Keep more than one teething item or washcloth in your refrigerator or freezer. Replace a warm teething item with a cold item from your freezer or refrigerator periodically. Rubbing the gum line with a cold spoon, piece of ice or clean finger can be an effective way to temporarily relieve teething pain. Some babies may find relieve by drinking bottles filled with cold water. If your baby finds relief from a cold bottle, stick to filling it with water, rather than juice or milk, to prevent tooth decay.

Foods

Chewing on hard or frozen foods can also help relieve teething pain. Use teething crackers, bagels and frozen bananas if your baby can manage solid foods. If your child is too young for solid foods, feed him cold yogurt or applesauce instead.

Medications

Use acetaminophen or ibuprofen if teething is making your baby miserable. Check with your doctor before giving your child these medications. Don’t give babies or children under 18 aspirin or medications containing aspirin, as there is a chance your child could develop a potentially deadly condition called Reye’s Syndrome when taking aspirin.

Numbing Products

Use over-the-counter numbing gels and liquids if your baby is extremely uncomfortable. The usefulness of numbing medications may be limited as they can be easily washed away by saliva. Apply a very small amount of numbing medication to the swollen parts of your child’s gums. Using too much can cause numbness in the tongue, lips or the back of the throat. If the back of the throat becomes numb, your child’s gag reflex may be affected and he may be unable to effectively swallow excess saliva.

About this Author

Jill Leviticus has been a writer for 20 years. She writes business, health and travel articles for several online publications and worked as a writer for a hospital and a nonprofit research foundation. Leviticus has a degree in journalism from Lock Haven University and works as a public relations writer.