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Most babies start teething at around 4-6 months of age. When your child’s teeth begin to erupt, you may notice changes in your child’s behavior. Changes may include irritability, excessive drooling, reduced appetite, and difficulties sleeping. Your infant may also bring their hands to their mouth or rub their ears or cheeks as the molars erupt, due to referred pain.

The good news is that neither you nor your child needs to suffer through teething issues! There are a number of remedies parents can use to ease teething pain.

Teething Toys:

One of the most common ways to manage teething pain is to gently massage your baby’s gums with a clean finger or a moistened gauze pad. Babies can use a chilled (not frozen) teething ring or cold washcloth to chew on. Some children enjoy using a toothbrush as a teething toy because of the stimulation from the toothbrush bristles on their gums.

Creams/Medicine:

Numbing creams or gels are also available over the counter, however use caution when using those containing Benzocaine for children under age 2 years without consulting your doctor. A child is at risk of swallowing these creams or gels, which can numb the throat and gag reflex. Painkillers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen should be used as a last resort; always check with your doctor before administering any new medications. Aspirin should be avoided as it can be associated with Reye’s syndrome.

Alternative Remedies:

Some parents report using amber teething bead necklaces made of Baltic amber to help relieve teething discomfort. It is believed that by wearing them, the body heat triggers the release of minute amounts of oil containing succinic acid that has an analgesic effect on sore gums. Please remember, that there is a heighten the risk of strangulation when wearing a necklace or choking if your baby chews off a bead.

Sometimes, when teeth erupt through the gum surface, the area may appear red or swollen. Parents may even notice a blood blister above the erupting tooth. The larger molars may cause more discomfort with their larger surface area that can’t cut through the gums so easily.

First Dental Visit:

Every infant should have their first pediatric dental visit after their first birthday. Schedule their first dental appointment with a pediatric dentist like Dr. Rishita Jaju at Smile Wonders. We can provide customized advice on how to care for the baby’s primary teeth. Helping our youngest patients develop a healthy, strong foundation for proper dental care is our goal and our passion at Smile Wonders. For high-quality pediatric dentistry in Northern Virginia, schedule your child’s appointment with us today.