Teething: How to Help Your Child
Teething can be a very
painful and stressful time for your infant. Learn what
you can do to ease the pain.
Teething occurs between 6 months and 24 months
of age although it can occur earlier. Normally the bottom
two incisors (frontmost teeth) will come in, followed by
the top four incisors. Children will often drool
excessively or gnaw on any hard object they can
The child's gums may appear tender and swollen;
often, in fact, the cheeks near the affected gums will
become red. While most children go through the teething
experience without any pain, some toddlers are not so
lucky. These children may be extremely
To help your child, rub the gums with a clean
wet finger or use a cold spoon to gently rub the gums.
This will help ease the pain and often soothes an
Chilled teething rings are another popular
option. When using a teething ring, make sure it is
chilled but not frozen, as frozen teething rings may
cause frostbite to lips and gums.
Many parents allow their children to chew on a
clean cold wash rag or wrap cold ice in a washcloth and
allow children to chew on this. If you do, please watch
your child to make sure they don't accidentally choke on
ice that may work its way out of the
Other parents provide a cold carrot or celery
stick to chew on. Once again if you chose this option do
not leave your child unattended as they could choke on
loose pieces of celery or carrot.
Providing "teething biscuits" or other hard
foods (frozen bananas) is not a good idea as these
promote tooth decay.
Often parents associate certain symptoms with
teething when, in fact, these symptoms may actually
represent an illness or infection. Remember, a diaper
rash, high fever, diarrhea, inability to sleep through
the night, and vomiting are not associated with teething.
If your child displays any of these signs, see a
Teething can be an uncomfortable situation for
many children but as a parent you can help ease or
completely eliminate your child's discomfort.