Teething Tips

Teething Tips
Posted on 12/05/2018
teethingArticle by  Dr. Jennifer Cropp

Teething is the emergence of the first or primary teeth through a child’s gums. Teething can begin as early as three to four months. Some babies are bothered by teething symptoms, which may be a result of tender or swollen gums. Teething can also affect the sleep of a child who was previously giving his parents some longer stretches of nighttime bliss.

There are several options that may help to provide your child with some relief during this time. A wet washcloth that has been chilled in the refrigerator or freezer can be soothing for little gnawers to chew on. If you have introduced solids to your baby, you could try frozen fruit, a frozen bagel, or a frozen waffle to chew on as well. Solid teething rings that have been chilled work well too. Take caution with soft teethers that are fluid filled as they have been known to be punctured by teeth. For parents that are concerned about plastic use for their children, try silicone or latex options. You can also try using a clean, cool finger to massage your child’s gums. This may be especially helpful for breastfeeding mothers prior to nursing if your child has recently starting biting your nipples! If your child is older than 6 months you can offer some chilled water via a straw or sippy cup that can be soothing as well.

It is important to avoid natural teething tablets as well as viscous lidocaine or Orajel (benzocaine) in infants and small children. Homeopathic teething tablets often contain belladonna, which can be potentially toxic. There have been case reports of small children overdosing on viscous lidocaine which can produce symptoms including seizures, vomiting, changes in vision, confusion, and lethargy. Benzocaine products including Orajel can cause a rare but potentially fatal condition known as methemoglobinemia (a condition that affects the oxygen carrying capability of the blood).

Your pediatrician will check for the emergence of teeth at your child’s well visit and direct you on general care and hygiene as well.

North Scottsdale Pediatrics

  • Ironwood Office - 9827 N. 95th St. Suite 105, Scottsdale, AZ 85258 Phone: (480) 860-8488 Fax: (480) 860-8498
  • Deer Valley Office - 21807 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85255 Phone: (480) 860-8488 Fax: (480) 860-8498

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