Munson Health
 
Teething

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by Wood D

(Cutting Teeth)

 

Treatment

Most children will only need basic comfort measures. Your doctor may recommend pain-numbing gels and medications, but they are rarely needed.
Bring your child to a dentist when the first tooth comes in. Make sure to visit the dentist by one year of age. The dentist will perform an exam. You will be shown how to care for your child's teeth.

Cleaning

  • After each feeding, wash your baby's gums with a soft, damp cloth or gauze.
  • When teeth come in, brush them daily. Use a small, soft-bristled toothbrush or a damp gauze pad.
  • For a child's first teeth, use an amount of fluoride toothpaste that is about the size of a grain of rice. Progress to an amount that is about the size of a pea by the time your child is three years of age. This will reduce the risk of the child swallowing it.
  • Remove any drool. Keep the baby's face clean and dry. This will prevent a rash.

Comfort Measures

Teething babies usually like to chew on a wet washcloth or teething ring. Guidelines for teething rings include:
  • Make sure anything given to your baby is clean and too big to swallow.
  • The teething ring should be made of firm rubber. It should be just one piece.
  • Do not freeze a teething ring. It will become too hard, which could damage new teeth. In addition, the cold could hurt tissue in the mouth.
  • Avoid teething rings with liquid inside. They could break open, exposing your baby to the contents.
  • Do not tie a teething ring or anything else around your baby's neck. If the ring or cord were to catch on something, the cord could choke your baby.
Other general tips include:
  • Rub the gum with a clean finger or wet gauze to help reduce discomfort.
  • Cool fluids may offer some relief.
  • If crackers or teething biscuits are given, watch your baby carefully to prevent choking.
  • Do not use alcohol.
 

RESOURCES

American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
http://www.aapd.org

American Dental Association
http://www.mouthhealthy.org

 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Canadian Dental Association
http://www.cda-adc.ca

The Canadian Dental Hygienists Association
http://www.cdha.ca

 

References


Teething: 4 to 7 months. American Academy of Pediatrics Healthy Children website. Available at: http://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/teething-tooth-care/Pages/Teething-4-to-7-Months.aspx. Updated December 3, 2013. Accessed February 17, 2014.


Teeth and Teething. American Family Physician website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/kids/eating-nutrition/teeth-teething.html. Accessed February 17, 2014.


Teething tots. Nemours' Kids Health website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/parent/general/teeth/teething.html. Updated November 2011. Accessed February 17, 2014.


2/17/2014 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: American Dental Association Council on Scientific Affairs. Fluoride toothpaste use for young children. J Am Dent Assoc. 2014 Feb;145(2):190-191.

 

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