There are many ways to help your baby who is teething. You can help relieve discomfort by offering your baby safe objects to chew or suck on. Do not use teething gels.
Teething rings, teethers, and toys specifically for teething
A wide variety of teethers and toys are made of non-toxic materials and are specially designed for teething babies. Teething rings come in many different sizes and shapes. Some are made of firm rubber (with or without bumps). You can put the teething ring in the refrigerator to chill. Don't freeze the ring or teether because they can become too hard and may harm your baby's gums. Don't use fluid-filled teethers. Your baby can choke if they break open.
Clean teething rings, teethers, and toys after each use. Check the package label to see if the object is dishwasher-safe.
Never tie an object such as a teething ring or pacifier around your baby's neck. The cord could tighten and choke the baby or, at the very least, irritate his or her skin.
Cold foods or liquids
Babies often resist feedings when they are teething. Sucking brings more blood to the gums, which increases sensitivity and swelling in the area. If your child is eating solids, try offering cold foods and fluids to help reduce the swelling and discomfort. For children older than 6 months, try feeding your child very cold applesauce, pureed peaches, or yogurt.
You can also let your baby chew on a clean, damp, cold face cloth.
The Canadian Dental Association (CDA) does not recommend the use of teething tablets or putting teething gel on your child's gums. Gels can make a baby's throat numb. This may cause trouble swallowing.
Do not use teething powder or aspirin on your baby's gums. Inhaling small particles of teething powder or aspirin can cause lung problems. Also, aspirin should not be given to anyone younger than 18, because it has been linked with Reye syndrome.
Do not give your baby any alcohol. Check medicine labels carefully. Avoid buying those that list alcohol as one of the first few ingredients. Alcoholic beverages, including fruit-flavoured brandy or wine, can be harmful to your baby in any amount.
Current as of: May 27, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: John Pope MD - Pediatrics
Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Thomas M. Bailey MD - Family Medicine