Dental Care for Babies (cont.)

What Can I Do to Ease Teething Pain?

  • Massage your child's gums with a clean finger or the back of a small cold spoon
  • Allow your child to bite down on a chilled (but never frozen) teething ring. A frozen teething ring can damage the gums.
  • Try an over-the-counter teething ointment to numb the gums. Ask your dentist or doctor for some product recommendations.
  • Allow your child to suck on a cold, wet cloth

Teething biscuits or cookies and frozen bananas are not recommended. These objects promote tooth decay and may cause your child to choke.

What Should I Do if My Baby Was Born With Teeth?

Some infants are born with one or more teeth (called natal teeth) or may have teeth emerge within the first 30 days of life (called neonatal teeth).

These usually are either extra teeth or are remnants from neonatal development that do not need treatment. If they are, however, actual teeth, it's a good idea to maintain them. Your doctor, however, may recommend removing them if the teeth are loose and pose a danger of being inhaled by your baby. Early teeth may also interfere with feeding or irritate your baby's tongue.

Talk to your doctor to see what treatment is right for your baby.

Reviewed by the doctors at The Cleveland Clinic Department of Dentistry.

Reviewed by Jay H. Rosoff, DDS, on March 1, 2007

Edited by Charlotte E. Grayson Mathis, MD, on May 1, 2005

Portions of this page © The Cleveland Clinic 2000-2005


Last Editorial Review: 6/23/2008

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