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Oral Health Buzz

Effective Teething Remedies for Babies

Anne Maria Wynter

While it's exciting to see your child's first teeth come in, the process can be painful for your baby and, consequently, frustrating for you. Fortunately, there are several tried-and-true teething remedies for babies that can help ease your infant's pain and help you both get through the teething phase with as little discomfort possible.

Give a Gentle Massage

Massages can be just as soothing for sore gums as they are for sore backs. To give your baby a gum massage, clean your hands thoroughly and use one finger to gently rub any tender spots. You can also use this same technique by massaging those areas with a small piece of wet gauze.

Numb the Area With a Cool Spoon

Before your baby's teeth push through his gums, you can help numb his pain with a common kitchen item. Simply chill a small spoon in the refrigerator (not the freezer), and gently apply the rounded part of the spoon to his gums.

Use a Teething Ring

In addition to easing discomfort, teething rings can provide your baby with a form of entertainment and distraction. If you do give your baby a teething ring, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends choosing a ring that's made of firm rubber. Avoid teething rings that contain liquid because they can potentially leak into your baby's mouth. The AAP also warns against using frozen teething rings, which can become so hard that they may harm your baby's tender gums.

Avoid Products With Benzocaine

Benzocaine is an over-the-counter topical painkiller that was previously one of the more popular teething remedies for babies. However, the FDA warns parents against giving this anesthetic to children under the age of 2. Not only does the medication often wash out of a baby's mouth too quickly for it to be effective, but Benzocaine has been linked to a serious blood disorder called methemoglobinemia.

To learn more about the teething process, visit the Colgate Oral Care resource center.

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