Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Teething Remedies: How To Treat Teething Pain

Teething Remedies

To ease your child's teething pain and relieve tender, puffy gums and other teething symptoms, consider these remedies.

Cold things

In the same way that ice works on a sprained ankle to numb pain and decrease swelling, cold compresses and foods soothe sore gums.
Place a wet washcloth in a plastic bag and chill it in the freezer for an hour. (For an added soothing touch, soak it in chamomile tea, which has been shown to calm fussy babies and help them sleep.) When you remove the washcloth from the bag, your child will enjoy munching on it, since the fabric massages ridges in the gums and the cold numbs the pain.
Try a refrigerated pacifier or teether. (Don't store the teether in the freezer, because it can get so hard when frozen that it might damage a baby's gums.) There are a variety of refrigerated teethers on the market, including some that have plastic handles so your baby's hands won't get cold.
If your baby has started solids, offer frozen fruit in a mesh bag or freeze a bagel and let your baby chomp on it. A cold large carrot (not a baby carrot, which can be a choking hazard) allows you to hold one end while your baby gnaws on the other.


Teething babies crave pressure on their gums since it helps distract their brain from the sensation of teething pain.
If your baby rejects cold items, chewing on a room-temperature teether may do the trick. Some teethers even vibrate. If one type doesn't work for your child, consider trying another.
Or give this strategy a go: Rub your baby's gums with a clean finger until the friction makes a squeaky sound. Not only will the pressure feel good, your baby will probably love the sound your finger makes.

Topical medication 

Many parents choose to use a topical anesthetic – a numbing gel or cream that you rub on your baby's gums – to relieve teething pain. These are available over the counter in drugstores.
Be aware that those containing benzocaine may not be safe for teething babies. In rare instances, benzocaine can cause methemoglobinemia, a serious condition in which the amount of oxygen in the blood drops dangerously low. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns that benzocaine products shouldn't be used on children under 2 without guidance from a doctor.
Another risk is that the medication won't stay where you put it. Even if you rub it directly onto your baby's gums, he might swallow some of it with his saliva, numbing his throat and relaxing his gag reflex – which can interfere with his ability to avoid choking.


If nothing else is working and your baby needs relief, your doctor might recommend trying an over-the-counter painkiller like acetaminophen. (Note: Never give any medicine to a baby under 3 months old without first checking with a doctor.)
For babies at least 6 months old, ibuprofen is an option, too, and can also help reduce inflammation in your baby's gums. But bear in mind that the drug can irritate the stomach, which may be problematic if your baby's already turning down food (which some teething babies do).
Aspirin is off-limits for anyone under 19 years old. Don't give it to your baby or even rub it on her gums. The drug is associated with Reye's syndrome, a rare but potentially life-threatening condition.
If a painkiller isn't doing the trick and symptoms persist beyond 24 hours, consult your pediatrician.

Homeopathic remedies 

Some parents swear by homeopathic teething drops and tablets. (In homeopathy, an active substance is diluted over and over again to the point that it's nearly – or entirely – undetectable, then given to the patient. The idea is that it will stimulate healing in the patient's body.)
However, many pediatricians claim that the risks of homeopathic treatments far outweigh any potential benefits. While homeopathic treatments are required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to meet certain standards for strength, purity, and packaging, they're not rigorously tested for safety and effectiveness the way prescription and over-the-counter medications are.
Before using a homeopathic remedy, check with your child's doctor or the FDA, which has recalled certain homeopathic products due to safety concerns.

Parents Say: Teething solutions

Tender, swollen gums can make life miserable for your baby. If you haven't found the right teether to ease her distress, try one of these alternatives that worked for BabyCenter parents.

The humble washcloth

Cold washcloths were the best because they were easiest to chew on. I also used to put a crushed ice cube inside a washcloth, tie it up, and let her chew until all of the ice chips had melted.
— LaTonya

Hands down, my baby's favorite soother is a fresh washcloth soaked in some brewed chamomile tea that I keep cold and ready in the fridge. Also, if you use a cold teething ring, try one with a handle of solid plastic that won't get as cold when she's holding it.
— Becca

Alternative teethers

We recently discovered a vibrating teething "star." When she bites down, it vibrates, and the baby loves it. The rings you put in the fridge or freezer are "too cool" for her.
— Kim

I purchased a Teething Blanket by Munchkin for my 16-week-old son and he loves it. I suggest that you buy two. One can be washed while the other is in use.
— Kerry

We found a teether that had a freezable part and a hard plastic handle. Our daughter had a much easier time gripping the not-frozen handle. With all the other frozen teethers, she'd just fling them from her chilly little fingers.
— Brenda

Frozen food as chew-toy

Frozen bagels worked well for my daughter when she started teething.
— Chris

Our baby's not taking any solids yet, but we put a few frozen grapes in the baby feeder mesh bag and she absolutely loves chewing on it. You can put frozen bananas or even just crushed ice in it. It's a little messy, but the babies seem to enjoy it.
— Julie

I'm a breastfeeding mom and a friend recommended pumping and freezing the milk in an ice cube tray then putting the frozen milk cube into a mesh feeder bag. It worked well and my daughter loved it. She was an early teether so other frozen treats were out.
— Cindy

Pacifiers on ice

Our 4-month-old's mouth is too small for traditional teething rings. We found a great solution with her pacifier. We submerge it in water and squeeze the nipple to suck up as much water as possible. Then we put it in the freezer until it's solid. It's cold, it fits in her mouth, and she can suck and soothe herself.
— Tessa's Mama

My 2-month-old is starting to teethe already, and he won't take any sort of teething rings. One day I put his pacifier in the freezer and then gave it to him. It was the best thing!
— Courtney

Source: Baby Center

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