Teething (cont.)

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What home remedies provide relief for teething pain?

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Infant gums often feel better when gentle pressure is placed on the gums. For this reason, many doctors recommend gently rubbing the gums with a clean finger or having the child bite down on a clean washcloth. If the pain seems to be causing feeding problems, sometimes a different shaped nipple or use of a cup may reduce discomfort and improve feeding. Cold objects many help reduce inflammation as well. Veteran parents have discovered the usefulness of frozen washcloths and ice cubes for this purpose. Be careful to avoid having prolonged contact of very cold objects on the gums. Also, never put anything in a child's mouth that might enable the child to choke.

How do I care for my baby's new teeth?

Oral hygiene may be started even before eruption of the first tooth. Twice-a-day cleaning of the gums using the washrag used for cleaning the face and hands after eating is effective and simple. Fluoride has been shown to be extremely effective in reducing the development and severity of cavities. Since fluoride amounts vary by water source, check with your child's pediatrician or dentist regarding any supplementation that may be necessary. Fluoride recommendations will be based upon fluoride concentration in water consumed and age of your child. An excess of fluoride may cause fluorosis -- permanent staining of the teeth. Children's teeth seem most vulnerable during the first three years of life. For this reason, fluoridated toothpaste is rarely necessary for children less than 3 years of age. Maternal fluoride supplementation during pregnancy has not been shown to benefit fetal dental integrity or protect the child's baby or permanent teeth from cavity formation.

Infants and children should never take a bottle to their crib or bed. Formula, breast milk, cow's milk, soy milk, and juice all can be associated with cavity formation. Ingestion of sticky fruit (such as raisins) or other foods heavily laden with sugar (such as candy) is also associated with an increase in cavity formation.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/5/2013

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Teething - Baby's First Tooth Question: How old was your baby or child when her/his first tooth appeared? Please share your story.
Teething - Signs and Symptoms Question: What were your baby's signs and symptoms associated with teething?
Teething - Order of Tooth Eruption Question: Did your child's primary teeth appear in "order"? Please share your experience.
Teething - Medications Question: Did you treat your baby with any topical or pain medications while he/she was teething?
Teething - Home Remedies Question: Please provide home remedies and tips for relieving pain caused by teething.
Teething - Seeing a Dentist Question: At what age did your child first see a dentist? Please discuss your child's dental experience.

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