Teething is uncomfortable for your baby, and can really disrupt your household. Dr. Simone Majetich, a family physician with Lake Health Physician Group SOM Center Primary Care, shares her top tips for soothing teething pain:
Discomfort during teething is normal
It's normal for a teething baby to be irritable, chew on things, and drool excessively. Sometimes parents report that their teething babies have fever or diarrhea, but research hasn't shown a link between these and teething. Teething shouldn't cause a temperature above 100.4°.
Soothing teething pain without medication
My preferred treatment for teething is supportive care. You can offer the infant a chilled (not frozen) teething ring, but to prevent choking, teething rings and devices should be one piece. Freezing a teether can make it too hard and cause more harm than good. Alternately, you may consider offering a chilled damp washcloth. Never leave your baby unattended with these items. Another option is to gently rub or massage the gums with one of your fingers.
Can I try herbal remedies?
This is a common question from parents of teething babies. The use of over-the-counter herbal remedies or topical analgesics such as lidocaine is generally not recommended. There have been documented toxicities and adverse effects with topical gels and teething tablets, so talk to your doctor about these options.
Instead, if your baby seems to be in a lot of discomfort, offer acetaminophen (generic Tylenol). If your baby is older than 6 months, you could also consider ibuprofen. Talk to your doctor about dosing and recommendations first.
And don’t forget - your baby's first dental visit should take place around their first birthday.
About the author
Dr. Simone Majetich earned her medical degree from Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine. She completed her internship and residency at University Hospitals Richmond Medical Center. Her special medical interests include preventive care, family medicine, integrative medicine and pediatrics. New patients are welcome at her office, Lake Health Physician Group SOM Primary Care, located in Willoughby.