Teething in toddlers occurs around the age of 6 months, beginning with the front teeth on the bottom and top set of gums. Most toddlers will likely have a full set of teeth by age 2 to 3 years old. If your toddler is teething, he is likely experiencing tender, swollen gums, and feelings of irritability and restlessness.
Teething rings are a comfortable first choice for many parents of toddlers who are getting their first teeth. When a toddler chews on a teething ring, the pressure associated with the chewing helps alleviate some of the pain of the tooth pushing through the gum. These rings are available in rubber, water-filled and vibrating options. Avoid sharing teething rings because that can spread germs. Clean the teething ring with a soapy towel. Never give your toddler a frozen teething ring because that might damage his gums. If the water-filled ring breaks, discontinue use and replace with a new ring.
Mesh Feeder Bag
A mesh feeder bag is a feeding tool for small children used to reduce the risks of a child choking on a piece of food. To use, parents would place food inside the mesh bag, snap the plastic handle closed and let the child suck and chew on the piece of food through the mesh. These feeding tools are ideal for teething toddlers. Take frozen food such as grapes, bananas or breast milk frozen in an ice tray, crush slightly and place in the mesh feeder. Give to your toddler and let him enjoy his snack while easing the pain of teething.
Finger or Washcloth
Perhaps the most used solutions for a teething toddler is to use a clean finger or a washcloth to rub your toddler’s aching gums. The pressure of a finger or washcloth on the gums reduces the pain your toddler feels from teething. Parents can also let the toddler suck on a chilled washcloth, which not only relieves the pain, but will also help soak up drool.
If all else fails, parents can use over-the-counter solutions such as pain gels, teething granules or an age-appropriate pain reliever such as Tylenol, ibuprofen or Advil. Avoid any pain relievers containing benzocaine because it can cause methemoglobinemia, a condition that causes decreased oxygen in the blood. Use these remedies according to the dosage directions on the package and consult a doctor or a pharmacist with any questions regarding proper use.