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How to Soothe Teething Discomfort


A child’s precious smile is one of my favorite things in the world. Unfortunately, when new teeth are coming in, it can be an uncomfortable process for some children. Symptoms of teething can include red swollen gums, chewing/biting fingers or objects, and increased drooling. Tooth eruption can begin as early as 4 months and as late as 12 months. Below is a graphic showing the average timing for children’s teeth eruption and shedding.


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Here are some tips for soothing gum pain while your child is teething:

  • Massage the gums with your finger for 2 minutes.
  • Wet a wash cloth with ice cold water and let your child chew or suck on the cloth.
  • Teething toys (with the option of chilling them in the refrigerator, do not place in freezer)
  • Give cold foods to eat.
  • Cuddle your child and give them love.
  • Most gum discomfort is mild and does not require medications. For significant discomfort administer Tylenol or Motrin (see dosing sheets for amount).

Some things we do NOT recommend:

  • Avoid homeopathic teething tablets or gels. These have been discouraged by the FDA.
  • Avoid benzocaine or lidocaine containing teething gels (e.g. Orajel). These products have been linked to dangerous side effects including choking and methemoglobinemia.
  • Avoid amber necklaces as these can be a choking and strangulation hazard.

 It can be hard to watch your child be in pain. Try and remember teething pain is temporary and will resolve eventually, usually in just a few days.


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