The teeth (or tooth) that causes the most pain varies from child to child. Some babies appear to have no teething pain at all. For others, it is sometimes the first tooth that causes the most discomfort — or those big molars, when they arrive. For many babies, working on several teeth at once is the worst. Try these simple remedies to help soothe a sore mouth:
- Massage — Rub the gums firmly and gently with a clean finger. The first few passes are sometimes a bit uncomfortable, but babies get more and more relaxed as the massage continues.
- Something cool to chew on — Wet washcloths or terrycloth toys fresh from the fridge or freezer can be very effective. Some babies are delighted with smooth, hard objects, like the handle of a hairbrush.
- homeopathic teething tablets or their new natural teething gel –Many parents report that these gentle remedies have been lifesavers.
- Infant pain-relievers — Infant acetaminophen or ibuprofen can provide stronger pain relief on occasion, if necessary.
- Topical anesthetic gels have mixed results. I do not routinely use them. They do deaden the pain, but many babies object to the strange sensation of mouth numbness. The medicines can also suppress the normal protective gag reflexes. The relief they give is very short. If you do use them for your baby, a little bit often works better than a lot.
Last reviewed: February 26, 2013