by Phoenix Kids Dentist Dr Karen Chu
Sometime between 4 and 7 months, the first of 20 baby teeth – just lying in wait to usher in a new stage of life for your child and a new wave of parental sleepless nights – start to erupt. When that happens, dealing with the effects of teething pain on your baby or toddler can be challenging at best and miserable for everyone around the situation at worst.
Here are three ‘COOL TRICKS’ to help parents cope with the “teething crankies”.
The New Favorite Foods During Teething
Cool and mushy become the new favorite foods during teething times. What are some of the foods you can convert easily?
As any mom knows – Applesauce is the king of foods when kids feel bad. Chill it during teething time and it is perfect to combat teething pain not just for baby but also through school age tooth eruptions.
Frozen fruit slushies – make a perfect cranky time snack (just make sure to make them rinse with water afterward). Freeze and blend any kind of fruit your child enjoys.
Blending frozen yogurt or yogurt based smoothies – can even add an extra layer of probiotics protection for your child’s health if you use yogurt with live bacteria.
For the more savory – gazpacho is a soup made of vegetables that can be served chilled and, teething pain aside, is often a great addition to hot summer menus.
*When you put these foods onto a pre-chilled spoon they are even a bigger hit.
Chill but Don’t Freeze
While cold definitely helps ease some of the pain and soreness of erupting teeth. Often friends and relatives will recommend freezing a hard teething ring. The problem with this is that frozen hard items can actually damage the delicate gum tissues when combined with baby chomping down (and its not real great for your kid’s tongue either).
A better alternative is to chill teething rings, biscuits and other teething aids in the refrigerator. You still get the befits of cold without the dangers.
There is an exception to the no freeze rule. If your toddler is already eating and chewing solid food, you can put a handful of soft small sized frozen veggies (like frozen peas) on their plate or high chair tray. By the time your toddler rolls them around a pass or two the plate or tray and then in his mouth the hard frozen edge is gone leaving a soft mushy cold and a reduction in the pain of teething.
The Traditional Cold Wet Washcloth
Even though this solution could come under the heading of “folk remedy” it is still around because…
- It works
- Everyone has one around
- Washcloths are easily re-usable
- It also helps solve some of the “throat drool” problem
One of the side effects of teething in very young children is the acid effect that drooling can have on the skin of baby necks. Baby skin is sensitive skin. And between drool pooling and baby rubbing – it can create even another source of pain and discomfort for baby to cope with.
Giving baby a CLEAN, wet and cold washcloth to chew on absorbs some of the drool as your child is gnawing. The cloth is also already there for you to use on baby — to give a quick swipe to any drool that still falls on your child’s neck.
A final note: When your child is cranky and sore, especially at night, it can be tempting to give into family and friends recommendations to use different drugs or alcohol.
Once you begin to see the first signs of tooth eruption it is a good idea to take a little time to prepare yourself. Talk to your dentist’s office, your pediatrician AND review the material available in articles designed to educate parents about the pros and cons of the available medicines and holistic products to ease teething pain.
If you make your decisions in advance, based on careful consideration and sound advice, it will be easier to make good choices when cranky cries make for a very long night.
Phoenix Kids Dentist Dr Karen Chu believes that every child has the right to a beautiful smile – and every parent to a little support. Check out Dr Karen Chu’s dentist resources for parents and teens: http://dentistrybydrkarenchu.com Find more articles and videos to help parents support their kids’ healthy smiles. And, come join our community of parents with smiling kids, contests and fun at https://www.facebook.com/PhoenixKidsDentist