All the signs are there: the drooling, the ear-pulling, the fussiness. Teething can be painful for both babies and parents.

To help you both make it through the difficult teething phase, here are some proven DOs and DON’Ts.

Teething pain relief DOs and DON’Ts

DOs

  • Use teething rings and toys—Chewing creates counter-pressure against the gums that relieves some of the pain of teething. Note: never freeze a teething ring or toy.1
  • Give gum massages—Rubbing a clean finger over your baby’s gums may provide some pressure and relief.2
  • Offer cooled foods and items—Cool drinks and cold foods like yogurt, applesauce or fruit may be helpful for children who have started to eat solid foods.3 Or, cool down a metal spoon in the refrigerator for the baby to suck on.4
  • Try teething biscuits—You can give your baby teething biscuits once they reach 8–12 months. To protect against cavities, wipe the gum area and teeth with a clean cloth. As more teeth come in, gently clean them with a toothbrush.5
  • Ask your pediatrician about over-the-counter pain relief—If the pain seems overwhelming, you may be able to give your baby acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) but check with your pediatrician whenever giving your baby medication.6

DON’Ts

  • Don’t put anything frozen in your baby’s mouth—A frozen surface can harm your baby’s gums. Chilling the items in the refrigerator is fine, but never freeze them.7
  • Don’t use homeopathic teething tablets—Teething tablets have not been proven to work. In some cases, lab reports have found high amounts of the ingredient belladonna, which can cause seizures and difficulty breathing.8
  • Don’t use topical medications—Avoid all products with lidocaine or benzocaine. These pain relievers can be harmful—and possibly fatal—to your baby.9
  • Don’t use amber teething necklaces—There is no evidence that these necklaces work and they pose choking, strangulation and mouth hazards.10

When teething first starts, it can feel like it will never end. We hope these "DOs and DON’Ts" help your baby find some relief, and give you some peace of mind.

Humana offers family dental plans

If you’re a current Humana dental plan member, you may be able to add a dependent to your plan at any time. If you’re looking for a family dental plan, Humana offers a broad range of plans with varying levels of coverage, many with low monthly premiums. To see plans and prices in your area, check out our Humana Insurance Company dental insurance page.

Sources

  1. “Teething 101: 4 Pediatrician-Approved Ways to Soothe a Teething Baby,” Cleveland Clinic, last accessed November 19, 2020, https://health.clevelandclinic.org/teething-101-4-pediatrician-approved-ways-to-soothe-a-teething-baby, opens new window.
  2. “Teething: Tips for soothing sore gums,” Mayo Clinic, last accessed November 19, 2020, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/infant-and-toddler-health/in-depth/teething/art-20046378, opens new window.
  3. “Teething 101: 4 Pediatrician-Approved Ways to Soothe a Teething Baby.”
  4. “Teething: Tips for soothing sore gums.”
  5. “Teething 101: 4 Pediatrician-Approved Ways to Soothe a Teething Baby.”
  6. “Teething: Tips for soothing sore gums.”
  7. “Teething 101: 4 Pediatrician-Approved Ways to Soothe a Teething Baby.”
  8. “Teething: Tips for soothing sore gums.”
  9. “Teething 101: 4 Pediatrician-Approved Ways to Soothe a Teething Baby.”
  10. “Teething: Tips for soothing sore gums.”