Teething and Complications

Author: Dr Narisha Chawla

What does teething look like?

This image below shows what it will look like as your child’s tooth begins to erupt from the gum.

Baby teeth erupting

Sometimes you may see a blue-grey bubble on the gum where the tooth is about to come out. This is called an eruption cyst and will usually go away without treatment, if not speak with your dentist.

An eruption cyst

In our recent post about teething, we looked at what happens during the teething process and what age it is likely to occur.

But once your child starts showing the symptoms of teething, how do you help comfort them and soothe their sore gums safely?

Here are 5 helpful tips to help you soothe your child’s sore gums and get them (and yourself!) through the teething process with minimal stress.

  1. Gentle massage
    Gently massage the sore gum with clean fingers or a soft, wet cloth. This will help soothe the gums and provide relief for your child.
  2. Chilled (not frozen) teething rings or rusks
    Pressure from cold teething rings or rusks can make the gum feel better. Unsweetened teething rusks or sugar-free teething biscuits can be given to children older than 6 months who have started eating solids.
    It is important not to put plastic teething rings into boiling water or the dishwasher unless suggested by the manufacturer, as this may affect the integrity of the product.
  3. Pain medicines
    Paracetamol (e.g. Children’s Panadol®) can be useful for pain relief. Ibuprofen (e.g. Nurofen® for Children) may be more effective at relieving pain, but it is best to talk to your doctor before giving this to your child.
  4. Clear away drool regularly
    The skin around the mouth and chin can become irritated when saliva pools there for a long time, and this can add to your child’s discomfort. Gently wipe this away with a soft cloth throughout the day to avoid skin irritation.
  5. Teething gels
    Common teething gels like Bonjela® can help with teething pain. Before use, wipe the sore gum with a soft cloth, then rub the gel directly on to the gum. Apply the gel 3-4 times a day, but no more than 6 times a day.

However, teething gels containing the ingredient ‘benzocaine’ are not recommended for use in children.

Do NOT Use:

Amber teething rings or necklaces have become popular in recent years. Amber beads are believed to release healing oil when they touch the skin, and this is thought to have a soothing effect when worn around the neck, wrist or ankle. Unfortunately many are bought for children to chew on. These products can be dangerous as your child can choke on the beads if they fall off the string. The necklaces can also cause strangulation.

Looking after your child’s teeth from the time they appear can help promote a healthy smile throughout their life. If you have further questions or concerns about your child’s teething, book an appointment with your Lucas Dental Care dentist.

About the Author:

Dr Narisha Chawla has a Bachelor of Dental Science (Honours) and a Doctorate of Clinical Dentistry in Paediatric Dentistry. Narisha also worked as a Specialist Paediatric Dentist at the Royal Children’s Hospital of Melbourne before joining Lucas Dental Care.

Narisha is passionate about all aspects of dentistry, particular in promoting better dental health in children to ensure they continue to bright smiles throughout life.

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