Teething can be a particularly challenging time for a parent, as they seek to comfort their young children and ease the significant amount of paint hat can result from a new tooth erupting into the gums. Though certainly a pretty significant challenging of parenting, there are a few excellent remedies that can help to minimize the pain associated with this process. It’s worth noting that there is no “universal” solution to minimize this pain; some children respond better to pressure while others respond better to cold, and some children will require even more specialized remedies. Keep this in mind when considering the most effective ways to mitigate the pain of teething.
1. Room-Temperature Teethers
Sometimes, the significant pain associated with a new tooth breaking through the gums can be best solved by applying pressure to the affected area. Generally, this can be done by using a traditional teether that has been warmed to room temperature. The room temperature nature of the teether also makes it a good fit for young children who don’t like the feeling of cold compresses being applied within the mouth. Make sure the teether is soft to the touch, but offers sufficient pressure when bitten. If necessary, run a cold teether under warm water until it reaches an acceptable room temperature.
2. Cold Compresses
While some of the pain associated with teething comes from the pressure of a new tooth breaking through, a great deal of the pain also comes from a significant amount of swelling in the affected area. The best way to eliminate this pain is generally with a cold compress, much like a swollen knee or damaged muscle would require. Start first with a chilled teether or pacifier, cooled in the refrigerator for at least an hour prior to use. If one of these products is not available, simply make a washcloth wet and chill it in the refrigerator for a similar amount of time.
For children who have graduated to solid foods, another great way to accomplish this cold compress is to simply feed them cold foods. Consider chilled fruit or even a bagel. The combination of a cold temperature, and the pressure from chewing, should provide a great amount of pain relief.
3. Anesthetics or Painkillers
Many parents are reluctant to use medications to solve their child’s teething problem, since younger children can be particularly sensitive to certain medications or certain effects. Even so, there are some safe remedies that can lessen or eliminate pain, all without serious side effects for the child. The first of these is a simple, topical anesthetic that numbs the local area around the new tooth. This is a great fit for children who are okay with the application process, which will require keeping their mouths open and rubbing the medication over the area that is hurting.
Other children, who are not okay with the process of applying these topical gels and creams, might benefit instead from painkillers. Rest assured, however, that these are not painkillers in the adult sense. Instead, over-the-counter children’s ibuprofen or acetaminophen should be used. Remember that a doctor should always be consulted when attempting to use these and other medications for teething children who are under three months old. Complications may arise in particularly young children without the assistance of a physician beforehand.
Teething Pain Can Be Solved with Several Important Treatments
Before resorting to medication and topical gels, try to help alleviate the pain with methods like cold compresses or applied pressure. Whether it’s by using a cold teether or one at room temperature, or even trying things like cold foods and chilled washcloths, parents will find that these common techniques are just as effective as medications. Better yet, they come with far fewer side effects and potential pitfalls.