April 10, 2012

Baby Teeth Care: Teething Tips and Tooth Care

It breaks your heart to see your child uncomfortable with teething pain and you want to know what you can do. The best remedies are cold and pressure. Cold slightly numbs the area, and pressure provides a counter sensation that feels good. Wet a washcloth, stick it in the freezer for 30 to 60 minutes, and let your child chew on it. You can also chill some teething rings. 

Many parents have been told by their mothers or grandmothers to rub whiskey on their baby’s gums to help with teething pain, but it really isn’t advisable. Another popular remedy is homeopathic teething tablets.  However, the active ingredient, an herb called belladonna, in large doses can cause hallucinations, difficulty breathing, increased heart rate and other problems. So be careful. Cold and pressure are the best and safest remedies for baby teething care.

When a tooth is getting ready to erupt it stretches the gum area as tight as a drum. To some children, that tightness is interpreted by their brain as being painful.  For others, it’s just like an itch they have to scratch.  Different children just have a different perception of what is and what isn’t pain. 

Many parents wonder if it is okay to give acetaminophen or ibuprofen to stop pain. Ibuprofen should only be used for babies older than 6 months. After that, either medication is fine when given in the correct dose and administered judiciously. But parents should first ask themselves if their child really needs the drug.  Ibuprofen isn’t necessarily more effective because it’s known to relieve inflammation as well as pain. What’s happening with your child’s mouth is primarily irritation. We recommend being as conservative in your approach to pain management as possible.

For information about other dental topics visit DrTav.com

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