Teething is often an upsetting time both for babies and their parents. Seeing a child in pain and distress as his or her teeth start to emerge through the gum line can be a harrowing experience for mum and dad.

Some babies may get their first teeth with no problems, but for many it can be a long and painful experience. However, there are a few simple ways you can help your baby through this difficult time, which occurs from the ages of 6 to 24 months.

Kitchener dentist Lancaster Dental has drawn up 7 top tips – DOs and DON’Ts – for parents to help calm a teething child…

  1. DO… Massage Your Baby’s Gums

Gentle pressure can relieve sore tissue in the mouth, so run a wet finger along your baby’s gums. It’s perfectly OK for your child to suck your finger as you do this. Bear in mind that your hands should be scrupulously clean and your fingernails cut short, with no jagged bits.

  1. DO… Use Cold Compresses

Clean, damp washcloths that have been chilled in the fridge will ease discomfort by reducing swelling of the gums. Rub one gently along your baby’s gums or let them suck on it under your supervision. Teething rings are also available that you can chill in the fridge. Another option is to put your child’s pacifier in the fridge before letting them suck on it.

  1. DO… Clean Up the Drool

Your baby will drool a lot during teething. Dried drool can irritate the skin, so wipe away any dribble that collects on your infant’s face. A mild moisturizer will also help to stop the chin and cheeks from drying out.

  1. DO… Use Medications

Many types of medication – liquid, gels and pills – are available to provide pain relief for babies. These will help your baby for a certain time but are best used alongside the 3 natural remedies listed above.

  1. DON’T… Give Your Baby Chilled Sweets

Treats such as chilled juices and Popsicles are not suitable for teething infants. They may be too cold and harm the tissues of the mouth. They may also contain high levels of sugar, which could lead to the growth of harmful bacteria in your baby’s mouth.

  1. DON’T… Freeze Teething Toys

While it’s fine to cool teething rings and other teething aids in the fridge, putting them in a freezer will make them too hard and cold. Rigid surfaces and extremely cold temperatures can quickly damage the child’s mouth.

  1. DON’T… Use Adult Medications

Pain-killers for adults are very hazardous for children. Your baby may also respond negatively to certain types of medication. If you’re unsure whether a particular medicine, including homeopathic remedies, is safe for your baby, consult a healthcare professional.

If you need further advice on how to cope with your baby’s teething, contact Lancaster Dental, your Kitchener dental office.