Patients often ask for advice when their children are teething. This is a notorious stage in a child’s development, and some babies are more sensitive to it than others. Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
- Teething toys and rings are traditional remedies, but avoid extreme cold. Frozen
items can hurt a baby’s mouth and cause additional discomfort. Store the teething toys in the fridge instead of the freezer. A cool washcloth is a soothing alternative.
- Say no to numbing: Avoid benzocaine treatments like Anbesol and Baby Orajel. They can lead to methemoglobinemia, a blood disorder in which body tissues don’t get enough oxygen. Though rare, the condition is serious and potentially life-threatening.
- Drooling is normal during teething, but it can cause skin irritation and add to a baby’s discomfort. Keep cloths handy to wipe up the excess, and offset dryness with an alcohol-free moisturizer.
- Babies will chew on anything when they’re teething, so be extra vigilant about keeping objects out of their hands. Stock up on tooth-friendly items for the car, stroller and diaper bag.
- Parents sometimes believe that baby teeth don’t need as much care because they fall out during childhood. This can be a serious mistake. Poor habits can cause decay that harms the gums themselves — not to mention the repercussions from not having a good oral health routine.
- Bring your child for his or her first visit by age 2. We will examine your child’s mouth, teeth and gums, and also evaluate any adverse habits.