Teething is often as stressful for parents as it is for a baby. The symptoms your baby experiences during the process, however, are natural and not harmful to his or her health. At Calcagno Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we hope to be a resource for you when it comes to your child’s dental care. Here are some facts about teething to alleviate some of your concerns.
Teething usually precedes the eruption of new teeth in a baby or toddler’s mouth by three or four days. During this time, the child will experience discomfort in the gum and jaw area around the anticipated tooth. The area may turn red or swollen and a blister-like pocket of fluid may even develop where the tooth will soon appear. Your infant may drool more often or in larger amounts, which can cause a mild rash of irritated skin around the mouth. He or she may also experience disturbed sleep, refuse to eat, appear fussy, and display seemingly odd behavior, such as rubbing the cheeks or ears. This is all perfectly normal and should not cause you alarm.
Guidelines for Treatment
When treating your child’s teething symptoms, be cautious in applying medication to your infant’s gums. There is no consistent evidence that topical medications benefit children while teething. The FDA warns against the use of oral medications containing benzocaine. This ingredient, found in many over-the-counter teething medicines, has been linked to methemoglobinemia, which causes the skin to turn slate blue and may lead to serious complications. You should also never use alcohol (such as whiskey) to ease the gums. Sparingly give your child Advil, Motrin, or Tylenol instead.
In many cases, gentle pressure on the gums will help alleviate any discomfort. Rub his or her gums with your clean finger or have your infant bite down on a towel. Parents often use a frozen washcloth to apply pressure and cold to the gums. Ice cubes also help. Be careful not to expose your child’s gums to the cold for too long; this can cause tissue damage.
Start caring for your child’s oral health before he or she has even started teething. Clean the gums with a soft, moist washcloth twice daily. We recommend you bring your child to see Dr. Calcagno for a Happy visit by his or her first birthday.
Schedule an Appointment
To schedule an appointment for either your child or yourself at Calcagno Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, please call our Rochester office at (507) 281-3659 or visit us online at calcagnodds.com. Dr. Janet Calcagno and our kid-loving dental team serve patients from Rochester, Red Wing, St. Charles, Winona, Hastings, Farmington, and the neighboring Rochester communities.