Teething Starts Young
The first baby tooth typically comes in around six months and the last baby tooth (not counting molars) by the time your child is 2 1/2 to 3 years of age. If you notice your child is extra fussy, drooling, or just an unhappy camper, he or she may be teething! Some youngsters aren’t bothered at all by teething, but for the ones that are, there are definitely remedies to help ease the discomfort.
Our Recommendations in Santa Monica
We generally recommend that you take a more conservative, non-medicinal approach at first. This can include providing your child with a clean, safe item to chew on such as a cold teething ring/toy or a clean cold cloth. The chill from chewing on it will help relieve the irritation. Be careful that the baby is chewing on something age-appropriate without small parts that could be choking hazards. Parents can also try gently rubbing their baby’s gums with a clean finger, but be careful of those new chompers in there!
If you would like to try a medicinal pain reliever, you can choose an over-the-counter option such as Children's Tylenol, particularly if your child is irritable or has a slight fever. There are topical gels that can be applied to the gums to soothe them, but the American Academy of Pediatrics states that these medications are usually not necessary or particularly helpful. Your child's saliva will quickly wash away the applied medication, and if too much is swallowed, it can actually be dangerous.
Check with your pediatrician for correct dosages for pain relievers or if your child has significant fever spikes and irritability.