It is what you wake up to everyday. You hope to see it as much as possible in your child. It is their amazing little smile. There is nothing that warms your heart more then when your child smiles at you. It starts off as a little toothless grin and slowly but surely ends up with a bunch of pearly whites; to then fall out altogether and hopefully get even better pearly whites. Parents are always wondering what is the time table on teething? What can I do to ease their pain? So here is some of the information that I have been able to poke around and find and compile for you in hopes that this will ease communication gaps with your little ones and hopefully give them some relief.
Throughout your child's life their teeth will alternately grow and rest a lot. A teething child may feel pain off and on for up to several weeks before a tooth actually emerges. Unfortunately, there is not a lot you can do to relieve your child's pain but these are known remedies to help.
1) The best way to relieve teething pain in your child is to give them something cold and firm to chew on. The hard surface provides relief through counter pressure and the coldness numbs the gums. Teething rings that are refrigerated or put in the freezer work best. If you have a baby a wet, frozen washcloth works well and it is easy for them to grasp.
2) Acetaminophen (Tylenol) will relieve some persistent pain, but since teething discomfort often passes quickly, it may not always be effective. Over-the-counter teething ointments, which contain a local painkiller, may be more helpful then acetaminophen, but consult your baby's doctor first. You should never use alcohol such as Whiskey or Rum on your child's gums. It can affect your baby's nervous system and still irritate their gums even more then they already are.
3) Make sure your child has something to chew on all the time. Many times people get rid of teething rings after the first couple of teeth come in, but then when your child is a toddler and teething they have nothing to chew on anymore. They still need something hard to chew on. You can use anything from rubber or wooden teething toys to your finger. Sometimes large frozen vegetables such as a carrot or a cold wooden or metal spoon work as well.
4) Believe it or not cuddling has been known to reduce the pain associated with teething. Something in the make-you-feel-good hormones eases your body's pain response. So it is an extra excuse to spend some cuddle time together as a family.
5) Offer your child plenty of distractions while they are teething. Take them to new places or to one of their favorite places. If you see them start to have some pain grab their favorite toy and offer to play with them. Go out of your way to help them get their mind off the pain and only focus on the good things.
To take care of your child's first pearly whites be sure to rub their gums with a washcloth at least once a day. You can move up to a soft baby toothbrush when they get a few more teeth in. Remember to specifically get baby's toothpaste. Your child should not have fluoride toothpaste until they are at least two years old due to the chance of them swallowing the fluoride toothpaste. Try and make teeth brushing fun for your children. Get them fun toothbrushes in their favorite style and a fun flavor toothpaste. Set a good example by letting them see you brush your teeth. Be sure to take your child to their first dentist appointment a little after they turn a year old to be sure that everything is on the right track.
Article sources: Babycenter.com, and Parents magazine